Rodney Crowell’s highly anticipated new album Close Ties is out today via New West Records and is available now digitally, on compact disc, and LP Here. The 10-song set is the multi-Grammy Award winning troubadour’s first album in over three years and follows The Traveling Kind, his lauded collection of duets with longtime collaborator Emmylou Harris. The album has already gained considerable critical acclaim with The Wall Street Journal raving, “[Close Ties] proves energizing, engaging and often fascinating;” and the Associated Press adding, “The set ranks among his best.” The Los Angeles Times calls it “exceptional,” while No Depression notes, “Whether he’ll accept it or not, [Crowell has] now assumed the mantle of the late Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt, two poets who could zero in on our emotions by telling wry, straight-as-an-arrow stories about the desiccated desolation of the failures or triumphs of relationships, or the battered denizens of small towns searching for truth, comfort, love, or refuge in their own halting ways.” Co-produced by Jordan Lehning and Kim Buie, Close Ties features a duet with Sheryl Crow on the haunting “I’m Tied To Ya,” and a vocal collaboration with Crowell’s ex-wife Rosanne Cash and John Paul White on “It Ain’t Over Yet.” In celebration of the album release, Crowell will be joined by Cash and White for a performance on CBS This Morning Saturday tomorrow, April 1st.  It is the first time the trio have performed the song live and Crowell also sat down for a conversation with CBS Senior National Correspondent Anthony Mason for the show as well (Check Local Listings).  

In anticipation of its release, NPR Music premiered a full stream of the album as a First Listen stating, “…Crowell’s new album Close Ties unfolds like a history lesson, both of his personal mythology and the music that shaped it,” continuing “There’s no doubt that Crowell was an architect of Americana as we know it, and with Close Ties, we’re fortunate to have a look at his blueprints.” Rolling Stone Country previously premiered the video for “It Ain’t Over Yet,” which also features legendary harmonica player Mickey Raphael in addition to Rosanne Cash and John Paul White and can be seen Here. Additionally, Paste Magazine premiered the video for the single “Nashville 1972” Here which was shot on 16mm black-and-white film and includes archival and modern day images depicting the Nashville Crowell arrived in over 40 years ago and the Nashville he currently lives. It’s lyrics lovingly namecheck Guy & Susanna Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Willie Nelson, Tom T. Hall, Steve Earle and more. The East Nashvillian’s must-read cover story on Crowell by Holly Gleason states of the song, “A patchwork of details and moments, the talent percolating is superseded only by Crowell’s self-effacement,” continuing, “‘Nashville 1972’ sets the stage for restless songwriters trying to craft poetry from life on the fringes.”

Close Ties both demonstrates Crowell’s strengths as a songwriter and illustrates how he has learned to balance personal recollection, literary sophistication, and his profound musical reach.  It’s at once his most intimate record and his most accessible, the product of years of understanding the ways songs can enter – and be entered by – life. It is a roots record, in the sense that Crowell himself has deep roots that stretch back into the alternative country scene of the early seventies. But it defies easy classification. Is it country? Is it a singer-songwriter record? “I have declared my loyalty to Americana. It’s a hard category for people to get their heads around, or at least the terminology is. But all the people who represent it – Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle and more recent stars like John Paul White and Jason Isbell – share a common thread, and that thread is poet. Whether they are actual poets or their music exemplifies a poetic sensibility, generally speaking, the Americana artist shuns commercial compromise in favor of a singular vision. Which resonates with me.”

Fifty years after Crowell first started playing as a teen in Houston garage bands, he has moved into elder-statesman territory, and continues to extend the path carved out by the top-tier songwriters who preceded him. His songs have been recorded by country legends (Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, George Strait), to current country chart toppers (Tim McGraw, Keith Urban) to blues icons (Etta James) to rock and roll legends (Van Morrison, Bob Seger). He is a Grammy award winner, a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, recipient of the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting from the Americana Music Association, and the author of his autobiography, the stunning Chinaberry Sidewalks.  

Rodney Crowell Close Ties Track Listing:
1. East Houston Blues
2. Reckless
3. Life Without Susanna
4. It Ain’t Over Yet (featuring Rosanne Cash & John Paul White)
5. I Don’t Care Anymore
6. I’m Tied To Ya (featuring Sheryl Crow)
7. Forgive Me Annabelle
8. Forty Miles From Nowhere
9. Storm Warning
10. Nashville 1972

Rodney Crowell On Tour (More Dates To Be Announced)
March 31 – Sellersville, PA @ Sellersville Theater
April 1 – Washington, DC @ The Hamilton
April 7 – Austin, TX @ Darrel K. Royal Homecoming Show Honoring
Guy Clark & Tamara Saviano
April 14 – Virginia City, NV @ Piper’s Opera House
April 16 – Nashville, TN @ 3rd & Lindsley
April 22 – Fort Worth, TX @ Ft. Worth Main Street Arts Festival
May 2 – Glenside, PA @ Keswick Theatre (Transatlantic Sessions)
May 6 – Madisonville, TX @ MSCA Pavilion
May 7 – Santa Barbara, CA @ Lobero Theatre
May 9 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Troubadour
May 10 – Berkeley, CA @ Freight & Salvage
May 12 – Portland, OR @ Alberta Rose Theatre
May 13 – Olympia, WA @ Capitol Theater
May 27 — Santa Cruz, CA @ Rio Theatre
May 28 – Jamestown, CA @ Strawberry Music Festival
July 22 – Telluride, CO @ Americana Festival – Sheridan Opera House
July 26 – Milton Keynes, UK @ The Stables
July 27 – London, UK @ Kings Place
July 30 – Dublin, IE @ National Concert Hall
August 27 – Fayetteville, AR @ Main Stage at Fayetteville Roots Festival
September 16 – Bristol, VA @ Bristol Rhythm & Roots
September 22 – Amesbury, MA @ Amesbury Harvest Fair &
Country Music Festival
September 23 – Boothbay Harbor, ME @ The Opera House at
Boothbay Harbor
October 13 — Steelville, MO @ Wildwood Springs Lodge

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