Not just a music man
The Houston Kid strums back into town as an author
For some country-flavored artists raised on Music Row, getting back to Nashville to play in front of the hometown crowd that supported them from day one makes all the bus travel and bad hotel food worth it. Not for Rodney Crowell, aka The Houston Kid.
For him, Space City is hometown and the place he can't wait to get back to play. It's no wonder then, that when Crowell chose a few prime destinations, in the wake of the release of his new memoir Chinaberry Sidewalks, the Mucky Duck made the cut (with the show Monday night).
Crowell, 60, is a singer-songwriter who's recording career began in 1978. A student and peer of such Lone Star tunesmiths as Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt and Steve Earle, Crowell's first big break was as a songwriter and guitarist in Emmylou Harris' Hot Band in the mid 1970s. In the '80s, Crowell was a country radio staple and a disciple of George Jones when it came to breakup songs.
"I Could Leave You If I Tried," "She's Crazy For Leavin'" and "After All This Time," were just a few of his No. 1 country hits.
It been in the last decade, however, that Crowell — in examining the history of his own life, which Chinaberry Sidewalks continues in book form — has made his greatest strides as a songwriter. Beginning with The Houston Kid in 2001, and continuing through the albums Fates Right Hand, The Outsider, and Sex and Gasoline, Crowell has delivered installments of his own autobiography set to twangy strings and spare percussion.
And while the albums haven't resulted in another stream of No. 1 songs, the acclaim and influence among his country peers, Grammy voters and up-and-coming singer-songwriters has been incalculable.
Rodney Crowell, 7:30 p.m. Monday at McGonigel's Mucky Duck