Rodney Crowell On His New Album & Songwriting History

Apr 25, 2014

Rodney Crowell is a Texas music legend. After 40 years in the country music business with a string of hits that he’s recorded, produced and penned, the 63-year-old Houston native is back with a new album titled “Tarpaper Sky.”

Crowell is a multi-Grammy winner, a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the recipient of the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting from the Americana Music Association. He has had his songs covered and performed by many of the greats of country music.

Crowell is also a recognized author after the publication of his 2011 memoir, “Chinaberry Sidewalks.” There, we learn the details of his Houston childhood, which were marked by poverty, turmoil and his volatile relationship with his father.

And there are echoes of "Chinaberry Sidewalks" in "Tarpaper Sky" – as well as echoes of Crowell’s 1988 commercial breakthrough album "Diamonds & Dirt."

Yvette Benavides spoke to Crowell about the new album.

"I'm kind of a split personality in that I'm a ham and I like to be out, I like to perform, but I really also like that monastic existence where I'm just back in front of a piece of paper every morning, you know, inching those songs along, coaxing them out of hiding."