The Franklin Theatre
Thu, Jun 14 8:00 pm
Rodney Crowell has been doing this for a while. In fact, his career has been so long and varied that you have to specify exactly which this youâ€™re talking about. Thereâ€™s the record-making, which dates back to 1978 (when he released Ainâ€™t Living Long Like This), peaked commercially a decade later (with Diamonds & Dirt, which yielded five number-one country hits), and has only grown in sophistication and power in recent years. Thereâ€™s the fiercely lyrical and personal songwriting, which has attracted the attention of everyone from Bob Seger (who famously covered "Shame On the Moon") to Keith Urban (who had a number-one hit with "Making Memories of Us"). And then thereâ€™s the autobiographical writing, which extends beyond the music world to a memoir, Chinaberry Sidewalks, which was published in 2011. Now thereâ€™s a new album, Close Ties, on which Crowell both demonstrates his strengths as a songwriter and illustrates how he has learned to balance personal recollection, literary sophistication, and his profound musical reach. Itâ€™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. "Itâ€™s a loose concept album, you could say," Crowell says. "And the concept is related to how you tell stories about yourself. Having a few years ago written a memoir, my sensibilities toward narrative-especially trying to find a common thread in different pieces of writing had become a part of my songwriting process. One of the reasons I brought Kim Buie in as a producer is that I wanted her to work with me the way an editor works, to look at a number of songs and find the ones that worked together to create a tone."