Grammy Award-winning musician and songwriter Rodney Crowell will release Tarpaper Skyon April 15th via New West Records. His new album harkens back to some of his most revered and loved works and comes on the heels of a Grammy win for Best Americana Album for Old Yellow Moon, his highly praised collaboration with Emmylou Harris, which was also awarded Album of the Year from the Americana Music Association.
Crowell will tour extensively in support of Tarpaper Sky with stops in NYC, D.C. and Boston and will kick things off at SXSW in Austin with several high-profile performances and events. His official SXSW showcase will take place Friday, March 14 at 10 pm at The Gatsby for the Pandora Discovery Den with Americana Music Association. On Wednesday he will perform live on KUTX at the Four Seasons Ballroom followed by Paste Magazine’s party at Swan Dive. Thursday he will begin the morning with a Songwriting Session at the Austin Convention Center (Ballroom E). Scott Goldman of the Grammy Foundation will interview Crowell about his songwriting process and inspiration, delving into the stories behind some of his best-known works and the new songs featured on Tarpaper Sky. Crowell will round out this exclusive glimpse into his music with a performance.
For Tarpaper Sky, Crowell assembled most of the players who’d graced his breakthrough album Diamonds & Dirt for an old school recording session. Together in one room, the musicians recorded live-to-tape, sharing ideas and developing arrangements as a group. A good portion of the songs were laid down in 2010 but Crowell was pulled in different directions; he released the critically praised KIN with poet Mary Karr in 2012 followed by Old Yellow Moon with longtime collaborator Emmylou Harris in 2013. But all along his unfinished project beckoned, and after the band regrouped and it was all pulled together, Crowell realized he had something special. He’s called it Tarpaper Sky, an allusion to the rickety house with a bad roof in which he spent much of his Houston childhood.
This collection of pastorals paints pictures from an imaginary country landscape that tell simple stories with straightforward language and energetic musicianship. Highlights include the bittersweet “Long Journey Home”, the lively “Fever on the Bayou” (the album’s radio focus track) and the raucous barroom drive of “Frankie Please”. As a whole, the songs on the album resonate with the themes Crowell’s fans have come to expect – vivid characters, heartbreak, and the unrelenting exploration of life’s lessons.
As one of the most admired songwriters in America, Crowell has had songs covered by everyone from country legends (Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, George Straight), to today’s current country stars (Keith Urban, Tim McGraw) as well as by rock (Bob Seeger) blues (Etta James) and even electronic artists (Royksopp). He’s had songs in the top 10 in every decade since the 1970s as an artist and a songwriter, and has balanced commercial success as an artist by maintaining a high level of integrity. A two-time Grammy Award winner, member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and recipient of the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting from the Americana Music Association, Crowell continues to add to his body of work and is as fresh, relevant and creative as ever.
SXSW Shows + Events
3/12 KUTX Live Performance @ Four Seasons Ballroom
3/12 Paste Magazine Party @ Swan Dive
3/13 SXSW Songwriter Session @ Austin Convention Center, Ballroom E
3/14 SXSW Official Showcase @ Gatsby’s – Pandora Discovery Den with Americana Music Association
3/8 Music City Texas Theatre – Linden, TX
3/9 Live Oak Music Festival – Fort Worth, TX
3/15 Firehouse Saloon – Houston, TX
4/25 Eddie’s Attic – Decatur, GA
4/26 Holly Springs Cultural Center – Holly Springs, NC
4/27 Jefferson Theatre – Charlottesville, VA
4/29 The Harvester Performance Center – Rocky Mount, VA
4/30 Rams Head Tavern – Annapolis, MD
5/01 The Hamilton – Washington DC
5/02 World Café @ The Queen World – Wilmington, DE
5/05 City Winery – New York, NY
5/07 The Sinclair – Cambridge, MA
5/08 Narrows Center For The Arts – Fall River, MA
5/09 The Flying Monkey Performing Arts – Plymouth, NH
5/10 The Opera House at Boothbay Harbor – Boothbay Harbor, ME
5/12 The Sportsmen’s Tavern – Buffalo, NY
5/13 Kent Stages – Kent, OH
5/14 Grand Valley Dale Ballroom – Columbus, OH
5/15 20th Century Theatre – Cincinnati, OH
5/17 Gathering In The Gap Festival – Big Stone Gap, VA
5/18 Mountain Stage – Charleston, WV
6/14 Sounds of Texas Theatre Series – Conroe, TX