For Rodney Crowell, A Godfather Of Americana, The Work Is Never Finished

At age 67, Rodney Crowell has become the literarily inclined elder statesman of the Americana scene. His new album, Acoustic Classics, is a look back at the songs of his career's many seasons.
Quote. Source: Austin Lord

Ask Rodney Crowell to point out musical mementos in his home 40 minutes south of Nashville, and he'll hurry you past the plaques commemorating his professional success. "I didn't put these up," he calls over his shoulder, striding down the hallway. "My wife did."

He heads straight for a dark-hued, dream-like painting hanging on the living room wall. "This is a piece of art that I like a lot," he says, explaining that it's the work of painter Ray Martin, who named it after Crowell's breezily philosophical song "Earthbound," one of the more recent selections that he's re-recorded for Acoustic Classics, a new album revising, and even refining, music from every era of his career. (Another of Martin's pieces, drawing on another of Crowell's songs, hangs in the studio on the other side of the house.)

There's more to see in the backyard. Looming over the vegetable garden is a metal sculpture that looks to be made of repurposed industrial scraps, wielding a pitchfork.

A fan of Crowell's had promised him a scarecrow. "I was thinking, like, classic, stuffed, from the Wizard of Oz, you know," he offers. But he was delighted to receive a more abstract interpretation of a bird-deterring silhouette instead — a real work of folk art. Anyone who's spent time listening to Crowell's work could reasonably assume that the more poetic approach would be his style.

As we turn to head back inside the house, I point out that his music seems to inspire a lot of creativity among artists working in other mediums. "I guess that was

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