Legendary country and Americana singer Rodney Crowell announced the release of his latest studio album, Close Ties on March 31st. The album will be his first in over three years following The Traveling Kind, a collection of duets.
Jordan Lehning and Kim Buie handle production duties, and the album features several big-name collaborators. Sheryl Crow will appear on the “haunting” track “I’m Tied to Ya,” while ex-wife (and daughter of Johnny Cash) Rosanne Cash and John Paul White make an appearance on the track “It Ain’t Over Yet,” with a backup harmonica performance by the maestro himself Mickey Raphael. The track is described as creating a “two-tone, punked-out cover image of Cash’s 1985 LP Rhythm and Romance.”
The album itself is described as a “loose concept record” that tracks Crowell’s life through short, musical vignettes. Whether its Crowell’s childhood in Texas on “East Houston Blues,” his early career as a songwriter in Nashville (“Nashville 1972”), or songs about friends and past lovers (“Life Without Susanna,” “Forgive Me, Annabelle”), the album is an intimate and far stretching look back at the aged singer’s life, focusing on the power of memory.
“Those memory muscles are pretty strong in me,” says Crowell. “They have a natural pull. And so many of these songs use those memories as raw material.”
In addition to personal memories, Crowell drew a lot on past Americana artists to help shape this latest project.
“All the people who represent [Americana]…share a common thread, and that thread is poet. Whether they are actual poets or their music exemplifies a poetic sensibility, generally speaking, the Americana artist shuns commercial compromise in favor of a singular vision. Which resonates with me.”
Keep an eye out for the album to drop this March and check out the tracklist below.
1. East Houston Blues
3. Life Without Susanna
4. It Ain’t Over Yet (featuring Rosanne Cash & John Paul White)
5. I Don’t Care Anymore
6. I’m Tied To Ya (featuring Sheryl Crow)
7. Forgive Me Annabelle
8. Forty Miles From Nowhere
9. Storm Warning
10. Nashville 1972