Rodney Crowell

Live Shots

Texas Platters
Photo by John Anderson

Rodney Crowell

BookPeople, Jan. 28

The word is out on Rodney Crowell's new memoir, Chinaberry Sidewalks. Before an overflow crowd just across the street from where one might otherwise expect an in-store by the master songwriter – Waterloo Records – the Texan read excerpts from the love letter to his parents, giving a thrilling taste of his ability to convey a tale without music but still with fascinating detail, somber wit, and a huge heart. In a porkpie hat and dark sweater, he looked more like a hipster poet than a country music star, but that didn't prevent him from picking up an acoustic guitar for a few unamplified songs between the storytelling, even breaking out a delightful cover of Guy Clark's "Stuff That Works." Crowell explained that he began writing the book (see "Phases & Stages," Jan. 28) mostly as a collection of stories from his childhood around the time he recorded his critically lauded The Houston Kid, which is based on similar themes. He struggled with the memoir over 10 years, but claimed that "writing a book made songwriting easier." Taking inspiration from Mary Karr's The Liars' Club, an equally gritty life story, Crowell then performed two songs they've written together. One, seemingly titled "Sister O Sister," echoed childhood remembrances. When asked about a follow-up book that would focus on his latter years, and perhaps his time with Rosanne Cash, Crowell put the idea to rest succinctly, saying, "I think what my parents were doing was far more exciting."

More Rodney Crowell
Gulf Coast Jamboree
Gulf Coast Jamboree
OSMF vets Sarah Jarosz & Rodney Crowell talk Texas

Jim Caligiuri, April 15, 2016

The Long Journey Home
The Long Journey Home
Rodney Crowell moves forward through his past

Doug Freeman, April 18, 2014

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
The Golden Boys
Better Than Good Times (Record Review)

Tim Stegall, Nov. 24, 2017

Sunday ACL Fest Platter: Midland
On the Rocks (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Oct. 13, 2017

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


Rodney Crowell

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)