Rodney Crowell (born August 7, 1950) is a Grammy Award-winning musician, known primarily for his work as a singer and songwriter in country music.
He is part of both the alternative country and the mainstream country music camps. He was influenced by songwriters Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt. Crowell played guitar and sang for three years in Emmylou Harris' "Hot Band".
In 2001, after a brief hiatus from recording, he released The Houston Kid on Sugar Hill Records, his first studio album since 1995's Jewel of the South. Many songs on the album were semi-autobiographical, and the album included a duet with Crowell's ex father-in-law Johnny Cash on "I Walk the Line (Revisited)". Initially, Cash was annoyed at Crowell for changing the tune to his song, but he came to like the finished product. Crowell followed up this effort with Fate's Right Hand in 2003 and The Outsider in 2005, both of which came out on Columbia Nashville, a division of Sony Music. Leading critics and Crowell consider these three albums his finest work as a solo artist.
2004 saw the release of The Notorious Cherry Bombs, a reunion of Crowell's 1970s road band, including Vince Gill and Tony Brown. The future Keith Urban hit "Making Memories of Us" was included on this disc. In 2005, Crowell served as producer for established Irish singer/songwriter Kieran Goss on the album "Blue Sky Sunrise".
In 2008 CMT announced that Crowell's next album, Sex and Gasoline, would come out on Yep Roc Records, ending his relationship with Sony Music. This marked the first time Crowell did not produce his own CD, turning production over to Joe Henry. The album was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album. Crowell figures prominently in musician-neuroscientist Daniel Levitin's book The World in Six Songs for which he was interviewed, and three Crowell songs, "Shame On The Moon," "I Know Love Is All I Need" and "I Walk the Line (Revisited)" are featured in the book.
In 2009, Crowell wrote Wynonna Judd's title track to her album Sing: Chapter 1, which also was released in 2009. The song was given several electronic dance music remixes, and sent to dance radio as Judd's second release from the album. In August 2009, the single reached #4 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart. In 2010, Chely Wright will release her seventh studio album on Vanguard Records. The album titled Lifted Off the Ground is produced by Crowell. Wright also made a cameo appearance in Crowell's 2008 music video Sex and Gasoline. A memoir, Chinaberry Sidewalks, was published in 2011.