Rodney Crowell w/ Ben Morris & The Great American Boxcar Chorus
Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 8:00 PM - Friday, November 16, 2012 at 2:00 AM (COT)
Producer, Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Rodney Crowell has had his hands in a lot of musical pies over the years. His songs have been recorded by the top names in American music and he is a Grammy Award-winning musician who is widely known for his contributions to the Americana and Alt-Country genres. Crowell's first big break came when he caught the ear of Jerry Reed while performing "You Can't Keep Me Here in Tennessee." Two days later, Reed recorded the song after signing Crowell to his publishing company. In 1975, Crowell joined Emmylou Harris' Hot Band as a guitarist and soon became one of her primary songwriters; among the Crowell compositions Harris first popularized were "Till I Gain Control Again,""Ain't Livin' Long Like This,""Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight," and "Bluebird Wine." Crowell began producing tracks for Rosanne Cash’s debut album in 1979 and a short time later, his songwriting career took full flight when "Leavin' Louisiana in the Broad Daylight" hit number one for the Oak Ridge Boys. Among his other significant compositions were "Till I Gain Control Again" (#1 for Crystal Gayle in 1983), "Shame on the Moon" (Top 5 pop hit for Bob Seger), "Long Hard Road (The Sharecropper's Dream)" (#1 for Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), and "Somewhere Tonight" (#1 for Highway 101). In 1988, Crowell finally broke through commercially on his own with Diamonds & Dirt, a record with an unbroken string of five #1 singles with "It's Such a Small World", "I Couldn't Leave You If I Tried,""She's Crazy for Leavin'" (co-written by Guy Clark), "After All This Time," and "Above and Beyond." In 1997, he formed the Cicadas with longtime backup musicians Stuart Smith, Michael Rhodes, and Vince Santoro. Crowell issued his first album since 1995, The Houston Kid, in 2001. Continuing in the autobiographical vein of that record, he released Fate's Right Hand in 2003, followed by The Outsider in 2005, and Sex and Gasoline in 2008. In 2012, Crowell released the album Kin in collaboration with best-selling memoirist and poet Mary Karr. Produced by Joe Henry, it included musical contributions from Lucinda Williams, Norah Jones, Kris Kristofferson, Vince Gill, Lee Ann Womack, Rosanne Cash, Chely Wright, and Emmylou Harris on songs Crowell and Karr co-wrote together. An icon in multiple genres and decades of music, Rodney Crowell still has his hands in a multitude of projects but his passion for performing across the world in unwavering. He will be performing at venues, festivals and theaters across the US in 2012-13, make sure you get your date today!
Ben Morris & the Great American Boxcar Chorus – a long name, but it’s one worth remembering – are still in the early years of their collective musical mission, but they’ve already made their way around Texas with the scrappy grace of a young band that will go to any length to make themselves heard. With over a hundred and fifty full-band gigs already under their belt, and with their first proper full-band album (Underground Railroad, self-released) set for release in Spring 2009, the College Station-based band is looking to retrace their steps across the bars, music halls and festivals of the Lone Star State (and beyond) while blazing new trails, winning over new fans as they introduce a new set of tunes and ideas to the world. The Boxcars’ (for short) music is easy to enjoy but difficult to define, drawing on countless influences and touching on many genres. Different songs evoke different combinations of driving bar-band country, adventurous indie-rock, catchy mainstream rock and lyrically driven folk. The depth and resonance of Morris’ baritone vocals have earned comparisons to Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings, but he stops short of imitating such musical legends (aside from the occasional cover song) and instead collaborates with his bandmates to create something original and new. Before forming the Great American Boxcar Chorus, Morris had already made some waves in his corner of the musical world. His uncommon entry into live music started when he teamed up with a college buddy to perform as Jeff & Ben: the duo’s combination of offbeat comedy tunes, drinking songs and unconventional covers went over well at open mic shows around Central Texas, to the point where the two began landing paid gigs and drawing surprising crowds. It was fun but not made for the long haul; when the duo amicably went their separate ways, Morris opted to make a sharp change in direction. He quietly dropped the comedic approach and took a break from gigging to write and record ‘The Other Side Of Broken’, the solo debut album where he began to find his voice. Loosely a concept album about the stages of heartbreak (with a couple of unrelated curveballs thrown in), the heartfelt lyrics, rich vocals and vibrant, textured sound were a surprise to those familiar with his earlier work. It also won him a whole new audience, with songs like “Count On Me”, “Thundercloud”, and ”No Saving Grace” only modestly breaking through on mainstream radio but going into heavy rotation on request-driven Internet radio sites like Radio Free Texas.
Grand Stafford Theater is the premiere live music venue of the Brazos Valley. An all-ages, all-genres, 450-capacity, live music venue, with two full bars and a mezzanine the newly renovated and historic venue provides the best in talent & entertainment.
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