Singer Rodney Crowell’s Regret-Soaked Vignettes

His new album “Close Ties” will connect with anyone who appreciates insightful and honest tunes.


Rodney Crowell
Close Ties
New West

Courtesy of New West Records

Rodney Crowell has certainly aged well. A reliable country hitmaker in the ’80s, this gifted songwriter subsequently traded chart success for more thoughtful records that deepened his roots in the best Nashville and folk traditions. Following the second of his fine collaborations with former employer Emmylou Harris, he’s returned to solo work on the quietly devastating Close Ties. Stripping his music down to its emotional essentials, Crowell crafts vivid, regret-soaked vignettes of reckless behavior and hard lessons learned, with his weary, rueful voice amplifying the confessional vibe. The loping “It Ain’t Over Yet,” featuring guest vocals by ex-wife Rosanne Cash and John Paul White, late of The Civil Wars, champions the resilient spirit, while “East Houston Blues” recounts the trials of “a worried man on a losing streak” to a jaunty groove. And “Nashville 1972” takes a fond look back at his early days in Music City, rubbing shoulders with greats like Willie Nelson, Guy Clark and Tom T. Hall. Call it country, folk, pop or Americana, Close Ties will connect with anyone who appreciates insightful tunes and honest, unadorned performances.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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