Concert Review – Rodney Crowell Live at the Dakota Jazz Club
The veteran singer/songwriter is touring in support of his fine new album, Kin. The album was co-written with poet Mary Karr and includes a host of country music greats – Rosanne Cash, Vince Gill and Kris Kristofferson just to name a few.
Crowell opened the concert solo with one of the new songs, “Anything but Tame.” He followed with “Jewel of the South.” As he started the third song, “Til I Gain Control Again,” his band joined him and that set the stage for three in a row from Fates Right Hand. On the popular “Earthbound,” as Crowell ran through the list of famous names, the reference to Mary Karr stood out more than ever. Crowell followed with an exceptional version of “Still Learning How to Fly.” “Ridin’ Out the Storm” was preceded by story of the song’s origins. Crowell was teaching his daughter the “liberal way” by feeding homeless people in New York City. After one homeless individual refused to take Crowell’s coat – resulting in a comment from his daughter about the event not turning out as he planned – he went back to his room and penned the guy a song. The tune brought a tear to the eye of many in attendance.
Another show highlight occurred when Crowell let his guitarist Jedd Hughes sing “I Want You #35.” The 30-year old Australian – who also opened the show – rocked the jazz club.
Not long after, Crowell delivered a pair from Houston Kid, “Wandering Boy” – with an awesome guitar solo from Hughes – and the terrific “Telephone Road.” Crowell closed out the main set with a flurry that included “Fate’s Right Hand” (with more awesome guitar work from Hughes), the beautiful “Closer to Heaven,” “You Can’t Stop a Woman When She’s Out of Control,” an extended sing-along version of Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone,” and Crowell’s classic “I Ain’t Livin’ Long Like This.”
The two-song encore included a song Crowell recently re-recorded for an upcoming duets album with Emmylou Harris, “Bluebird Wine.” Crowell ended the show with a great new song. “Fly Boy and the Kid” is written in the same vain as Son Volt’s classic “Windfall” and Delta Spirit’s “Devil Knows You’re Dead.” At the meet and greet after the show, Crowell mentioned that we should expect to see the new song on the next album – the album following the one he is releasing with Harris next year.
As expected the 62-year old veteran singer/songwriter was entertaining, humble, humorous and passionate.
1. “Anything but Tame”
2. “Jewel of the South”
3. “Til I Gain Control Again”
4. “Stars on the Water”
6. “Still Learning How to Fly”
7. “Ridin’ Out the Storm”
8. “Just Pleasing You” dedicated to Hank Williams, Sr.
9. “I Want You #35” (sung by Jedd Hughes)
10. “God I’m Missing You”
11. “It’s Hard to Kiss the Lips at Night”
12. “Wandering Boy”
13. “Telephone Road”
14. “What Kind of Love”
15. “Fate’s Right Hand”
16. “Closer to Heaven”
17. “You Can’t Stop a Woman When She’s Out of Control”
18. “Like a Rolling Stone”
19. “I Ain’t Livin’ Long Like This”
20. “Bluebird Wine”
21. “Fly Boy and the Kid”
Karl Leslie is a freelance music writer and has been writing a music column for the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., since 1999.