Archive for Rosanne Cash

Live: Rodney Crowell, Houston

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , on January 31, 2011 by 30daysout

Rodney Crowell, singing in his hometown at Cactus Music & Record Ranch.

It was a typically low key homecoming for one of Houston’s favorite musical sons – Rodney Crowell walked in the front door of Cactus Music & Record Ranch on Monday, guitar case in hand, and asked, “Are you ready?”  With little fanfare, one of the greatest songwriters of the past few decades sat on the record store’s small stage and started picking a blues tune.

“That one was by Lightnin’ Hopkins,” said Crowell afterward.  “How about another one from a Houston songwriter?  Townes Van Zandt.”  Then he did one by Guy Clark, then he did one of his own songs.  More covers, from Tom T. Hall and Willie Nelson (“He’s an honorary Houston songwriter, I suppose,” Crowell said) before Crowell played another of his compositions, “Banks of the Ol’ Bandera.”

About that song, he said he was staying in a hotel near the Texas town of Bandera when he wrote that song.  He played it fresh out of the wrapper for Bee Spears, Willie Nelson’s bass player, and after only hearing it once Spears turned around and played it for someone else.  “Before you know it, Jerry Jeff Walker was recording it,” Crowell said, “after it was only heard once removed.”

That’s not surprising, considering the prowess of Rodney Crowell, who became one of Nashville’s top talents in the 1980s and 1990s.  He hit first as a songwriter, penning “Shame On The Moon” for Bob Seger and “Ain’t Living Long Like This” for Emmylou Harris.  Then he was a producer, working on a number of albums for his wife at the time, Rosanne Cash.  Then Crowell became a bonafide country singing star with the 1988 album Diamonds and Dirt, which spawned an amazing five No. 1 country singles.

On this afternoon, Crowell’s intent was to promote not only the evening’s gig but also his new book, Chinaberry Sidewalks.  The book is an autobiographical look at Crowell’s upbringing in Houston by his hard-drinking, country-singing father and his Bible-thumping mother.  Apparently the book stops before it can get into Crowell’s musical career; the heart of the story is the turbulent but loving relationship he had with his dysfunctional parents.

Crowell wrote the book – without the help of a ghost writer – over a 10-year period.  “You know me,” he said, “I gotta do it all myself.  If I’d used a ghost writer it would have been finished a long time ago.”  This in-store was supposed to have a little music and some reading of passages from the book, but Rodney Crowell got lost in the music and forgot about the prose.  No complaints.

MP3: “Moving Work Of Art”

MP3: “Earthbound”

MP3: “Sex and Gasoline”

MP3: “Ain’t Living Long Like This”

Rodney Crowell official website

Chinaberry Sidewalks at

YouTube: Rodney Crowell at Cactus, performing “Long Hard Road” (thanks to Ludachris56)

Rodney Crowell at BookPeople, Austin, performing Guy Clark’s “Stuff That Works”

“Telephone Road” at Gruene Hall, Texas, on 1-29-11

Grammy Nominations 2009

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2009 by 30daysout

The 52nd annual Grammy nominations came out last night with one glaring omission. Green Day’s excellent 21st Century Breakdown was not nominated for Album of the Year. How is that possible? While I like the new Dave Matthews Band Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King album, it’s not better than Green Day. The Black Eyed Peas The E.N.D. sure as hell isn’t. While I’m sure Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and Beyonce have their moments, song for song, there is no way they compare with Green Day.

Bruce Springsteen showed up as a courtesy in a few of categories. Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance and Best Rock Song for “Working On A Dream” and for his “Sea of Heartbreak” duet with Rosanne Cash, but his Working On A Dream album was a no-show. Producer Brendan O’Brien, however, is up for Producer of the Year. U2’s weak No Line On The Horizon LP also appeared in couple of categories, but was shut out of the major ones. Steve Earle’s excellent Townes showed up in the Best Comtemporary Folk Album along with Neko Case’s Middle Cyclone and Elvis Costello’s  Secret, Profane and Sugar Cane (I love Costello, but this is a joke). Wilco, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams and Levon Helm were also nominated for “Best Americana Album.”

Some pleasant surprises (besides the Americana category) include Adele’s nomination for Best Pop Female Vocal Performance for “Hometown Glory,” Willie Nelson’s American Classic nominated for Best Traditional Vocal Performance, AC/DC’s Black Ice up for Best Rock Album and Megadeth’s Head Crusher being recognized in the “Best Metal Performance.”

The show airs on CBS Sunday, Jan. 31. Maybe Kanye West will steal someone’s thunder again. Maybe Lady Gaga will poor blood on herself again, or maybe, just maybe, we’ll get to see Wilco, Steve Earle, Springsteen/Cash or AC/DC play live. We can only hope.

2009 Grammy Nominations

Review: “The List,” Rosanne Cash

Posted in Review, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2009 by 30daysout


Rosanne Cash is one of those rare artists that sounds like she’s sitting in your living room playing just for you. Her voice is confident, sexy, and one you can count on to make you feel better when times are tough. On her latest collection, The List, she honors her father Johnny Cash by performing 12 songs (13 if you get it off iTunes) from a list he gave her when she was 18 years old. It contained what he called the “100 essential country songs.” Everything from folk to protest songs to delta blues to gospel to Appalachian music was on that list. I am so glad that she decided to share this piece of her history with us because this disc is nothing short of outstanding. Continue reading

Springsteen appears on “Spectacle” with Costello

Posted in Bruce Springsteen with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2009 by 30daysout


UPDATED: Read about the magical night at the Apollo at Backstreets Magazine.

Let me start off by saying “Spectacle” featuring Elvis Costello on the Sundance Channel is the best music program on TV…hands down. Costello asks insightful questions, artists like Lou Reed, Herbie Hancock, Kris Kristofferson, Smokey Robinson, Rosanne Cash and The Police, looked comfortable talking about themselves, and then there is the music. Costello usually plays with the artist, and whether they are his songs or their songs, the performances are outstanding.

This year’s guest list will feature, among others, Bruce Springsteen. The Boss is set to tape his segement at the Apollo Theater in Harlem on Sept. 25. It will be interesting to see if he spills the beans on the future of the E Street Band and to see what they play together. Costello recorded an excellent version of “Brilliant Disguise” and Bruce played “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding” on the Vote for Change Tour a few years ago, so we can probably count on at least those two. All I know is that whatever they play, it will rock. There is no air date at this time, but stick with us and we’ll let you know when it will come to a TV set near you.

Elvis Costello Official website

Bruce Springsteen Official website

Official “Spectacle” website

The Sundance Channel Official website

“London Calling” – Springsteen/Costello/VanZandt/Grohl

Rosanne Cash duets with Springsteen, Costello on new CD

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on July 8, 2009 by 30daysout


The great Rosanne Cash will release her latest disc, The List, on Oct. 6 and it will feature duets with Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello and Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, with whom she recorded her hit “Seven Year Ache” a few years ago. Check out all the info at Rosanne’s website. We’ve included a clip of a tune called “April 5th,” which unfortunately is not on the track list, but is awesome. It features Cash with Costello and the great Kris Kristofferson. Enjoy.

Lost Classics! John Stewart

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , , on November 17, 2008 by 30daysout


In the early 1970s, John Stewart was a leading, although unappreciated, practitioner of the country rock movement.  This singer-songwriter with the booming voice actually got his big break when he replaced Dave Guard in the Kingston Trio in 1961.  The Kingston Trio was one of the best-selling folk acts of the early ’60s, and Stewart toured and recorded with them until their breakup in 1967.

Stewart went solo and wrote songs for other people, most notably “Daydream Believer,” a big hit for the Monkees (and later, Anne Murray).  In the early ’70s he signed with RCA and in 1973 recorded Cannons In The Rain, critically acclaimed but not a hit.  Wingless Angels, from 1975, followed a similar pattern.

Continue reading