Grammy winner Rodney Crowell explores his Lone Star roots with an eclectic cast of all-star friends on TEXAS, his adventurous new album of collaborations due August 15th. Crowell will be celebrating the album’s release by returning to SiriusXM’s Outlaw Country channel to host a special show devoted to his Texas heritage that will air multiple times during release week.
Featuring Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Ronnie Dunn, Billy F Gibbons, Randy Rogers, Vince Gill, Lee Ann Womack, Steve Earle, Ringo Starr and more, the 11 tracks on TEXAS represent not just a fresh batch of weathered poetry from one of Americana’s finest craftsmen, but also an iconic singer-songwriter letting loose with his friends.
“For the last few years, I’d been writing Texas-centric songs and revisiting some of my tunes from as far back as the mid-seventies,” Crowell explains. “Last year, I started referring to the collection of songs as the TEXAS album.”
Crowell had it in mind to record one of the album’s tracks with Texas native Steve Earle, he says, and had also intended to work with fellow Houstonian and ZZ Top front man Billy F Gibbons for years. But after finally setting dates to get those projects done, the list of guest performers grew … and grew.
“Interestingly it all started with Ringo Starr who, through a mutual friend, let me know he was keen to record a track,” Crowell says. “Before I knew it, Lee Ann Womack, Ronnie Dunn, Willie Nelson, Randy Rogers, Lyle Lovett and Vince Gill had climbed on board. Ray Kennedy and I took hold of the production reins, enlisted a cast of bad ass musicians and voilá, TEXAS was born. Man, was it a fun record to make.”
Twangy two steppers stand alongside hard-driving blues rockers and dusty cowboy ballads, sharing time with windblown prairie gems, quirky spoken-word compositions and historically-charged singalongs. Each one is defined by Crowell’s famously sharp, vivid storytelling and authentic vernacular, with collaborators like Rogers counting themselves lucky to be along for the ride.
“I have to admit, my heart almost stopped when I got this phone call from Rodney,” says Rogers. “There are really not words to explain how honored I am. He is a true legend to all of us who dream of playing our songs for people who care.”
“I love to work with people who are the best at what they do,” shares Womack. “Singing with Rodney is like a master class from one of the greatest singer/songwriters of our time.”
On August 10, Crowell will be inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in Carthage, TX.
Rodney Crowell’s TEXAS track listing:
1. “Flatland Hillbillies” (featuring Lee Ann Womack & Randy Rogers)
2. “Caw Caw Blues” (featuring Vince Gill)
3. “56 Fury” (featuring Billy F Gibbons)
4. “Deep In the Heart of Uncertain Texas” (featuring Ronnie Dunn, Willie Nelson & Lee Ann Womack)
5. “You’re Only Happy When You’re Miserable” (featuring Ringo Starr)
6. “I’ll Show Me”
7. “What You Gonna Do Now” (featuring Lyle Lovett)
8. “The Border”
9. “Treetop Slim & Billy Lowgrass”
10. “Brown & Root, Brown & Root” (featuring Steve Earle)
11. “Texas Drought Part 1”
Jennifer Rai, in partnership with her husband, records and publishing veteran, producer Mark Bright (Carrie …