CD Review: Songs From Quarantine Vol. 1– Rodney Crowell
by Denise Labrie for Country Music News International
Ry Cooper – Baby Started Wearing Her Mask
Elvis Costello – Maud Gone Wrong
Emmylou Harris – Gold
Jeff Tweedy – Even I Can See (Demo)
Keith Urban – Polaroid
Taj Mahal – Sitting On Top Of The World
Lucinda Williams – When The Way Gets Dark
Steve Earle – Time Is Never On Our Side
Rosanne Cash with John Leventhal and The Milk Carton Kids – Western Wall
Rodney Crowell – She’s Back In Town
Joe Henry – Mission
John Hiatt – Goin’ Back To Nashville
Ronnie Dunn – Train To Glory
Rodney Crowell working in collaboration with major artists including Keith Urban, Ronnie Dunn, Steve Earle, Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams and more put together this gem of a compilation CD to benefit the non-profit Music Health Alliance. Crowell is a MHA board member and the organization provides healthcare advocacy, support for the music community worldwide, including access to mental health, COVID-19 resources, healthcare, medicines and more. The digital collection is available on Bandcamp but only for a very limited time. Place your order today.
Crowell is a world renowned country singer-songwriter. Born in my native city of Houston and hails from the Jacinto city area of town. What a generous outpouring of time and talent to deliver a CD that provides the opportunity to support those in need during the trials of the Covid pandemic.
Baby Started Wearing Her Mask
Ry Cooder presents a very bluesy rendition in this song. The guitar chords deliver soulful support to the lyrics. The lyrics proclaim what many have now come to realize, “…the health message got through and she’s wearing her mask.” There is a nice hum-a-long and guitar solo featured in this song. Cooder concludes the song with these encouraging words, “Take a tip from me and my gal just keep on wearing your mask.”
A night time scene is presented of despair and dejection. The guitar keeps tempo as the vocals roll along into the statement that “No matter how bright I glittered baby I could never be gold.” Harris vocals steadily relates the story of failure throughout the song. There are times where I too tried so hard but was not able to make a relationship what I wanted it to be.
Guitar strumming perfectly in time in the intro gives way to Keith describing a photo taken a long time ago. “That someday I’d be something more than just a boy in a Polaroid with you,” these lyrics capture the emotions of the moment of both then and now. The song steadily builds until the end. I’ve looked at an old photo recalled the original moment, while at the same time, experienced a new fond emotion associated with the same photo.
Sittin’ On Top Of The World
The is a gritty bluesy number. The guitar and percussion infuse a nice get down home blues dimension to the song. The vocals are as full, rich and warm as listening to a fireside storyteller. “Now she’s gone and I ain’t worried cause I’m sittin’ on top of the world,” the lyrics explain. I believe it is true that when you’ve done all you can do and things go wrong, you have no regrets.
When The Way Gets Dark
Lucinda offers words of encouragement, “…it’s gonna be alright you’re gonna be okay,” to those going through hard times. The guitar accompaniment is a nice compliment to the vocals. The solo is rich and inspiring. I have felt down during this pandemic and words of encouragement do help make me feel like I am going to make it through.
A beautiful guitar intro fades into strong vocal harmonies. I have stood at the western wall and had to leave it all at the wall. The guitar solos are as pleasant to listen to as the feel of a country breeze. The lyrics and Roseanne’s competent vocals have a sobering, mesmerizing effect on the melody of the song.
She’s Back In Town
The boogie-woogie intro sets up this song with a deep in the heart of Texas beer joint timing and feel. Crowell definitely delivers the goods. This song’s vibe will give you a glimpse into what it feels like to sit in a Texas bar, listen to a great band while enjoying an ice cold beer. The guitar and piano solos are as exciting as the vocals. This song made me want to move my body to the beckoning of the beat.
Train To Glory
Fast paced drivin’ funky guitar and bass lace up this song to the end. The vocals keep up with the beat and do the song justice. “Walk that straight and narrow,” Dunn tells us. The electric guitar solo is righteous. The organ supports the melody. Background vocals give the whistle call and the drums keep the train on track. I enjoyed listening to this uplifting, high energy take me to church song.
We are all in this together and a lot of people have been through some of the darkest days to shadow this world in a century. Rodney Crowell and friends have felt the need and put into motion a vehicle for us to provide some comfort and encouragement to those in need. This is a great opportunity for us to enjoy some great music and participate in meeting the needs of others.
Reporting for Country Music News International