Rodney Crowell performs in the Radio Heartland studio

Rodney Crowell performs his song, "East Houston Blues," from his 2017 album, "Close Ties," live in the studio of Radio Heartland and The Current. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
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Rodney Crowell performs in the Radio Heartland studio (full session + interview)
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  • Rodney Crowell performs in the Radio Heartland studio (full session + interview) 25:00
  • Rodney Crowell - I Don't Care Anymore (Live on Radio Heartland) 04:20
  • Rodney Crowell - Reckless (Live on Radio Heartland) 02:38
  • Rodney Crowell - East Houston Blues (Live on Radio Heartland) 03:47

Sometimes the deepest and richest part of a conversation with an artist happens after the microphones are shut off. It's an unavoidable circumstance of trying to have a deep conversation with someone just after meeting them for the first time.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Rodney Crowell when he was in town recently. His latest album is called Close Ties, released March 31, 2017, on New West Records. Crowell spends time in these songs looking back at his life and career so far, using the wisdom of age and experience to help with this song collection. He also mourns the loss of some very close friends from the music industry: Guy and Suzanna Clark, Townes Van Zandt and others.

And after Crowell packed up his beat-up Gibson acoustic guitar, we chatted a bit about Johnny Cash — Rodney's former father-in-law — about his children, about Prince and even about the Minnesota Twins. All of that happened because I volunteered to drive him back to his hotel in Minneapolis (Good move, Mike).

Use the audio player above to listen to the part of the day that we did record.

Songs Performed


"I Don't Care Anymore"
"Reckless"
"East Houston Blues"
All songs from Rodney Crowell's 2017 album, Close Ties, available on New West Records.

Hosted and produced by Mike Pengra
Engineered by Michael DeMark
Visuals by Nate Ryan

Resources


Rodney Crowell - official site

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5 Photos

  • Rodney Crowell performs in the studio
    Rodney Crowell performs in the Radio Heartland studio. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Rodney Crowell performs in the studio
    Rodney Crowell performs in the Radio Heartland studio. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Rodney Crowell performs in the studio
    Rodney Crowell performs in the Radio Heartland studio. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Rodney Crowell performs in the studio
    Rodney Crowell portraits taken at The Current. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Rodney Crowell performs in the studio
    Rodney Crowell portraits at The Current. (Nate Ryan | MPR)