Rodney Crowell

Acts Playing South by Southwest

SXSW Records

Rodney Crowell

The Houston Kid (Sugar Hill)

It's been nearly six years since any new songs from Rodney Crowell, and The Houston Kid is a welcome return for one of the most prolific and successful songwriter/performers of the past 15 years. It's an autobiographical song cycle that explores the underside of his East Houston upbringing, focusing on the years 1956 through 1965. Through his words and melodies, Crowell paints one vivid picture after another of the characters that littered his life during that time: his battered-wife mom; a proud, struggling, and belligerent father; a bisexual hustler; and a small-time crook. Still, the track that's likely to generate the most immediate response is "I Walk the Line (Revisited)." Crowell's ex-father-in-law Johnny Cash sings the chorus as Crowell describes his 1956 encounter with Cash's signature tune and how it changed his life forever. Elsewhere, tunes like "Highway 17," "Rock of My Soul," and "Topsy Turvy" resonate with finely drawn images and highly charged musical setting. Crowell claims this project had a life of its own, one he needed to complete to discover who he is after a time of much uncertainty. He shares as much of his heart and soul as he possibly can, and it shines brightly through again and again. All we can do is sit back and marvel at the man's ability to weather it all and bring it to life in such a clear and moving fashion. (Saturday, March 17, Broken Spoke, 10pm)

**** 

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Kendall Beard
Here Comes Trouble (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Dec. 14, 2018

Texas Platters
Stephanie Urbina Jones
Tularosa (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Dec. 14, 2018

More by Jim Caligiuri
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Her father's death and daughter's birth upped the stakes of the singer's finest work

April 14, 2017

SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Soft Boys, Youngbloods, Moby Grape, Brian Jones’ grandson, etc.

March 18, 2017

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle