EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Writers and critics don’t seem to be happy unless they can attach a genre to an artist. So Bart Crow would fall under the Texas/Red Dirt category. But if you listened to Dandelion, Crow’s fourth studio album, without knowing that, you would simply place it in the “great music” category.
Little Bit of Luck, the first single from Dandelion is at number six this week after a quick rise up the Texas chart. But Crow is no newcomer to the Texas charts with hits like Saying Goodbye, Run With The Devil, and Wear My Ring.
The Maypearl, Texas native plays nearly 200 dates a year and will no doubt get busier with next week’s Sept. 18 release of Dandelion, which was produced by Justin Pollard who also happens to be Pat Green¹s drummer and co-producer. Crow also shows off his songwriting chops having wrote or co-wrote 12 of the 14 songs on the album.
We recently caught up with the busy musician and were surprised to find out that Crow has never performed in Nashville. Hopefully that will change soon.
Nash: Maypearl, Texas is a tiny farming town. What was it like growing up there and how did you get into music?
Crow: What else are you going to do there? (laughs) My grandfather played music there for 60 years and had cover bands. My father was in what I call a dance hall band and played every weekend. So we just had music galore in my house. My parents both worked and we lived way out in the country so in the summer time, my sister and I would have talent shows and sing. Then when I was in kindergarten I entered a real talent show and sang John Anderson’s “Swingin’ ” and I came in 6th. My sister actually won the contest singing a Charly McClain tune.
Nash: You’re an Army veteran, tell me how that affected your music career.
Crow: Now, it’s the greatest thing I ever did. Then, I kind of didn’t have any direction. I wanted to play pro baseball, but I was realistic enough to know that I probably wouldn’t have a shot. My dad and I were butting heads like the worst thing on the planet because we’re identical. I had to do something so I went into the military. It was peace-time, ’95 to ’98, and all we did was play war games. I roomed with a guy who only had eight month left and he said, “Make sure you learn something while you’re here”. So I had taken an old Honer guitar with me and I bought a Mel Bay’s book of chords. On payday I’d go down to Blockbuster off base and order Jerry Jeff Walker, Robert Earl Keen and David Allan Coe CDs because they didn’t carry that kind of music and we’d listen to them in the barracks and I’d learn that stuff.
Nash: You’re a great writer and your son is named Townes. I’m going to guess that he’s named after Townes Van Zandt and that you’re a fan. Would that be true?
Crow: Yes quite the fan. When my Townes was born I went to town and bought the three or four Townes Van Zandt records that I didn’t have and we wrote notes to my son on them and put them in a time capsule.
Nash: Who’s your favorite Texas artist?
Crow: That’s a tough one. I’m a big fan of Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen’s songwriting. As far as going back further, who’s not a Waylon Jennings fan? And Steve Earle man, I love everything he does . . . even the things that make me scratch my head.
Nash: Let’s talk about the new album. Can you tell me a little about the first single, A little Bit Of Luck?
Crow: Sure. A Little Bit Of Luck was my stab at trying to get over myself, not be so artistic and deep. I just wanted to write a simple song.
Nash: Is Didn’t Mean To Break Your Heart a true story?
Crow: Yes, it’s about an amazing girl when I was back in my twenties who will remain nameless. She was as sweet as they come, not as sweet as my wife but this was back before that. I had this fear of getting burned and kind of just disappeared so shame on me. But, I heard through the grapevine that she was pretty upset at the time.
Nash: My favorite song on the album is “If I Go”, your duet with Macy Maloy. How did that come about?
Crow: That is a Gregory Alan Isakov song that was pitched to me by my manager. My wife and I listened to that and it was so gorgeous. I had been wanting to do a duet, so we decided that would be it. Isakov has a version of it and I was hoping to at least match the beauty of his, and in bringing in Macy, I think we did that.
Nash: Thanks for talking to us and please let Nashville.com know when you and your band will be making your first Nashville performance.
Crow: I will definitely do that.