As 2019 drew to a close, legendary word-making troubadour Rodney Crowell was working on a new batch of songs.
Back then, there was already a heavy feeling in the air – between worsening economic, political and environmental crises and a cancer diagnosis for a close friend (producer Joe Henry), Crowell had a lot going on. head. So he did what he always did: channel everything into songs. In the end, he created a thought-provoking masterpiece, Sorting, the 18th 70-year-old studio album, released July 23 via RC1 Records with Thirty Tigers.
While the record was on track by the time the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, the ongoing quarantine has always had a profound effect on Crowell, even prompting him to write a few new tracks trying to give everything a shot. meaning. Ultimately, Sorting shows his songwriting skills at his best – using a wide palette of moods and imagery he evokes something respectful and solemn, yet beautiful with startling moments of joy. In a way, when he started writing these songs, he went on a search for solace… and it looks like he might have found it.
Now Crowell is at the Center of American Songwriter‘s Latest Episode Off The Record series. Speaking on everything from the album’s origins to his songwriting process to new territory he explored in quarantine (spoiler alert: there could be a ‘bedroom pop’ record of Rodney Crowell in progress), he spoke about the trip to understand exactly what he meant. Watch the episode below: