Tarpaper Sky CD (2014)

Artist: Rodney Crowell

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Product Overview


SKU 262101477
UPC 607396630424
UPC 14 00607396630424
Format CD
Release Date 4/15/2014
Author Rodney Crowell
Associated Artist/Work Harris, Emmylou
Associated Artist/Work Karr, Mary
Technical Info
Engineer Drew Bollman; Donivan Cowart; Justin Niebank; Dan Knobler; Peter Coleman
Producer Justin Niebank; Rodney Crowell; Steuart Smith
CatalogID NW 6304
Lable Name New West (Record Label)
Released 2014
Original Release 2014
Number of Discs 1
SPARE Code n/a
Length 42m : 7s
Mono/Stereo Stereo
Studio/Live Studio
UPC 00607396630424
Album Notes and Credits
Personnel: Rodney Crowell (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Shannon McNally (vocals); Steuart Smith (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, harmonica, organ); Will Kimbrough (acoustic guitar, accordion); Dan Knobler (electric guitar); Steve Fishell (steel guitar); Jerry Douglas (dobro); Fats Kaplan (mandolin); Deanie Richardson (fiddle); Jim Horn (saxophone); Eddie Bayers (piano, drums); John Hobbs, Michael Rojas (piano); Tim Lauer (harmonium, pump organ); Jerry Roe (drums).
Audio Mixer: Justin Niebank.
Recording information: Flearoy's House Of No Low End; Sound Emporium; Treasure Isle.
Photographer: David McClister.
Arrangers: Rodney Crowell; Steuart Smith.
Rodney Crowell's last two offerings have been collaborative albums. First was 2011's Kin, an uneven collection written and recorded with novelist Mary Karr; 2013's Old Yellow Moon marked his reunion with Emmylou Harris. It was a decent record, but steeped in nostalgia rather than fresh energy. Tarpaper Sky is a no-nonsense collection of Crowell songs unrestricted by concept, played by the core band from 1988's Diamonds & Dirt--guitarist Steuart Smith, drummer Eddie Bayers and bassist Michael Rhodes--as well friends. Justin Neibank helmed and mixed these sessions; he gets the essence of Crowell's sound perfectly. The standouts tend to be the mid-to uptempo numbers. The opener "The Long Journey Home" references in feel and architecture -- if not anthemic force -- Bruce Springsteen's "No Surrender," but it's more empathic and tender than dramatic. "Fever on the Bayou," co-written with Will Jennings, tosses just a touch of Louisiana into Crowell's Texas-cum-Nashville gumbo. "Frankie Please" is raucous modern rockabilly with killer guitar from Smith. It draws from the same untamed root sources that Bob Dylan's "Thunder on the Mountain" does. The rough and tumble honky tonk blues of "Somebody's Shadow," co-written with Quinten Collier, has an uncharacteristic tenor saxophone in its barroom swagger, and it works. "Jesus Talk to Mama" is swinging country rockabilly with Smith's licks adding to its strut and a gospel backing vocal courtesy of Vicki Hampton. "The Flyboy & The Kid" is classic Texas Americana (and dedicated to mentor Guy Clark). The simple melody adorned with accordion, mandolin, Jerry Douglas' dobro, and Bayers' popping snare, underscores an inspired vocal delivering exceptionally poetic lyrics. Among the slower tunes, "Famous Last Words of a Fool in Love," a duet with Shannon McNally reveals that life's twilight may be visible on the horizon, but the present moment is meant to be fully embraced. Likewise, the country waltz "I Wouldn't Be Me Without You" is one of Crowell's finest love songs in years. Themes of of memory and gratitude wind their way through some of Tarpaper Sky 's songs, but they don't frame the album as a whole. This is Crowell at his best: focused, balanced, clever, at times profound. It's a welcome return to form. ~ Thom Jurek
Professional Reviews
Mojo (Publisher) (p.91) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "The tunes are a panorama of Crowell's favoured styles, from roadhouse rockabilly to heart-tugging ballad, a touch of the blues and gospel jubilation rounding it out."
Paste (magazine) - "Crowell opens with 'The Long Journey Home,' lofting his pleasantly weathered voice into soaring harmonies on a road song with plenty of long straightaways."
Disc 1
1 Long Journey Home [For Ben], The
2 Fever On the Bayou
3 Frankie Please
4 God I'm Missing You
5 Famous Last Words of a Fool In Love
6 Somebody's Shadow
7 Grandma Loved That Old Man
8 Jesus Talk To Mama
9 I Wouldn't Be Me Without You
10 Flyboy & The Kid [For Guy], The
11 Oh What a Beautiful World [For John Denver]
Product Attributes
Artist Crowell,Rodney
Label New West

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