Rodney Crowell opens a dialogue about songwriting and the creative process in this informative program, recorded September 21, 2013, at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. He also performs a handful of songs including “It’s Hard to Kiss the Lips at Night,” “I Know Love Is All I Need,” and “Song for the Life.”
Crowell begins the program by explaining the back story of writing “Till I Gain Control Again” not long after moving to Nashville, when he was living in his car. In that anecdote, he talks about meeting elite songwriters Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, and Mickey Newbury. “I wanted to somehow get into that club, so in order to do that, I had to write something worthy,” he says.
He gives insight about writing the comical “It’s Hard to Kiss the Lips at Night” with Vince Gill (they later recorded it with their band, the Notorious Cherry Bombs), and offers an acoustic performance of the song.
Explaining his creative process, Rodney Crowell tells an audience member that he writes every day when he’s home.
“One thing I learned early about writing is: it’s work,” he says. “It’s a mystical adventure, to where there was nothing and then maybe four or five hours later, there’s a song that exists.” Later, Crowell says that melodies come fast to him, but “finding the right language is the real pursuit.”
Crowell also brings out a special guest, Shannon McNally, to perform “Rock My Soul,” and shares perspective on collaboration and getting started as a songwriter, and his personal rule of thumb: “Let the song tell me what it wants to be,” he says. The program concludes with a performance of “East Houston Blues.”
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