Charlie Crow writes the kind of songs no one writes anymore; download his “Downsized Blues” and see for yourselfNovember 28, 2010
Charlie Crow is an interesting case. He’s a Little Rock-based singer-songwriter who’s just released his debut CD, Angela’ Asleep: Charlie Crow — Songs of Life and Living. It wound up on my desk and so I listened to it.
And I’ll say this: CC is a remarkable craftsman who has a pleasant, comfortably lived-in voice and an uncommon gift for conversational phrasing. And the muscianship on the album is first rate — it features crack players such as Tim Crouch on mandolin, acoustic guitar and fiddle; Robbie Springfield on electric and steel guitars; drummer Kenny Loggains; horn player Gary Gazaway and Doug Deforest (who co-produced the record with Crow) on bass and keyboards. (Crouch, Springfield, Gazaway and Deforest often play together as part of the Cherokee Village-based “Cuttin’ Crew,” a session group that’s played and recorded with hundreds of artists, from Moe Bandy and Glen Campbell to Mare Winningham, Bobby Vee, Larry Gatlin and Jonathan Edwards.)
But Crow’s pride is obviously most invested in his songs, which are highly polished anbnd thoughtful gems set in roots , Americana meditations on folk and country styles. There’s an antique flavor to most of them, but Crow and the boys never play it for camp. This is the sort of sincere music that a lot of people miss — the songs that no one writes anymore, with melodies that you can hum and lyrics that scan and flow. He’s like a representation portraitist as opposed to an impressionist paintslinger — there’s great feeling in his songs but emotion doesn’t overpower their exquisite construction. Some of us might like our artists to be a little madder and messier, but the artistry here is undeniable.
Crow’s songs alternate between the solemn — the lyrics to the opening track, “Angela’s Asleep,” were adapted from Crow’s father’s poems about the death of a young girl — and the wry (his “Odometer Blues” was featured as an interstital track on National Public Radio‘s Car Talk program.)
“Downsized Blues” is both downbeat and wry. Try it out:
Angela’s Asleep is available through CDBaby.com. Or contact Charlie directly at: