This summer I saw Rodney Crowell for the fourth time, and the second time with his new singing partner Emmylou Harris. It is ten years since I saw him the first and also the second time. Today, August 7th is his 65 year birthday. (Picture above: Rodney Crowell at the Antone’s in Austin, 2013)
Rodney Crowell moved to Nashville in 1972 to become a professional musician and songwriter. He soon became friends with Townes van Zandt and Guy Clark, and three years later he moved to Los Angeles to become a singer in Emmylou Harris’ band, The Hot Band. He wrote songs for her, among them the song that has become his signature song, “Ain’t Living Long Like That“.
In 1980 he married Johnny Cash’s daughter Rosanne, a marriage that lasted for 11 years. He produced her breakthrough record Seven Year Ache the same year, and in 1987 he produced the album that has been considered her masterpiece, King’s Record Shop. In between producing other people’s albums, he wrote songs for himself and others, scoring several hits.
In 2013 he teamed up again with Emmylou Harris, and the duo released the album Old Yellow Moon, and this year they released The Traveling Kind. Rodney Crowell is one of the most successful songwriters in the country and Americana style, and he easily bridges the gap between country and rock in some of his songs, too.
My first time seeing Rodney Crowell was at the Antone’s during SXSW in 2005. Then I saw him at the Seljord Country Festival in Norway the same summer. Two years ago I saw Rodney Crowell again at the Antone’s, this time together with Emmylou Harris, and this summer the duo played at the Oslo Fjordfest. Today he is 65 years old, and hopefully he will keep on singing and writing songs for many more years. Read more about Rodney Crowell at AllMusic. You can hear Rodney Crowell’s music here.
All photos are © Per Ole Hagen and must not be used without written permission.