Music Reviews
Rodney Crowell

Rodney Crowell

The Chicago Sessions

New West Records

Multi Grammy award-winning and legendary singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell has released a new album titled The Chicago Sessions via New West Records. He partnered with Jeff Tweedy as the producer and recorded the album at the Wilco Loft in Chicago, Illinois. The album is reminiscent of Crowell’s 1978 debut album Ain’t Living Long Like This, not only in its appearance but also in the vibrant songwriting. As Rodney recalls, “There’s something very simple, very innocent about it. It’s just me and the band in a room together, loose and live and having fun.”

Tracks like “Lucky,” “Oh Miss Claudia,” and “Making Lovers Out of Friends” off The Chicago Sessions are as infectious as “Elvira” or “Leaving Louisiana In The Broad Daylight” from 1978, proving that Rodney’s songwriting keeps getting better with each project. The album features all-new material with the exception of an original song titled “You’re Supposed to Be Feeling Good,” covered by Emmylou Harris on her 1977 album Luxury Liner and the Townes Van Zandt tune “No Place To Fall.”

The Townes song holds a special place for Rodney, and he explains, “The first time I heard that song, Townes was sitting across the table from me at Guy and Susanna Clark’s house. He said, ‘Hey, I’ve got a new song for you,’ and it’s been imprinted on my psyche ever since. I wanted to record it as an homage to somebody that I learned a lot about songwriting from.”

The Chicago Sessions showcases some of Rodney’s best performances to date, and having Jeff Tweedy produce, co-write the song “Everything At Once,” and play on the album, in my opinion, accounts for the excitement that you feel throughout the album. In addition to Rodney and Jeff, the album features guitarist Jedd Hughes, pianist Catherine Marx, and bassist Zachariah Hickman, whom Rodney brought with him to Chicago, as well as John Perrine and Spencer Tweedy (Jeff’s son) on drums.

The album is available on your favorite streaming services and online retailers. I can’t recommend enough that you grab a copy of this incredible album.

Rodney Crowell


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