Rodney Crowell: “Angel Eyes”
Rodney Crowell sits at a major crossroads of country music, not only in his native Texas but on the national scene as well. After moving to Nashville to start his career in the early ’70s, he met a number of Texas ex-pats including Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark, the latter becoming a lifelong friend. Crowell first made his name as a songwriter before moving out to Los Angeles as a rhythm guitarist in Emmylou Harris’s backing band.
Despite moving from town to town, that songwriting prowess kept rearing its head. Harris herself covered a number of his songs, as did Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. And nowadays Crowell serves as a bridge between songwriting generations: the rebellious Hayes Carll is a noted fan, as is up-and-comer Robert Ellis. The two recently performed with Crowell at the Paramount Theatre, trading songs and stories even with the disparate gaps in age. Crowell also just released his fourteenth album, Kin, featuring collaborations with poet Mary Carr and artists Vince Gill, Norah Jones, Kris Kristofferson, and many more.
But it was with a heavy heart that Crowell came into KUT’s Studio 1A recently. Last week, we received news that Susanna Clark, wife of Guy Clark, passed away at the age of 73. Crowell talked to KUT’s Kevin Connor about what an inspiration she was–not only to Guy, but also to Townes Van Zandt, Lyle Lovett, and Crowell himself. “I was in love with Susanna. We all were,” said Crowell, before performing “Angel Eyes.” It’s a song that has been recorded by many of country music’s royalty, but never by Crowell. Here, he provides this heartfelt rendition as an ode to a friend.