Multi-Grammy Award winning troubadour Rodney Crowell will be honored by ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, with its prestigious ASCAP Founders Award at the 55th annual ASCAP Country Music Awards on November 6, 2017. The Founders Award is one of ASCAP’s highest honors and is presented to songwriters and composers who have made pioneering contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators. Previous recipients include George Strait, Alan Jackson, Jackson Browne, Emmylou Harris, Garth Brooks, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Neil Young.
Crowell’s new album Close Ties, released March 31st of this year, has gained considerable critical acclaim with NPR Music stating, “There’s no doubt that Crowell was an architect of Americana as we know it, and with Close Ties, we’re fortunate to have a look at his blueprints.” The Wall Street Journal raved, “[Close Ties] proves energizing, engaging and often fascinating;” and the Associated Press added, “…the set ranks among his best.” The Los Angeles Times called it “exceptional,” while No Depression noted, “Whether he’ll accept it or not, [Crowell has] now assumed the mantle of the late Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt, two poets who could zero in on our emotions by telling wry, straight-as-an-arrow stories about the desiccated desolation of the failures or triumphs of relationships, or the battered denizens of small towns searching for truth, comfort, love, or refuge in their own halting ways.”
Throughout his long and successful career, Crowell has written or recorded 15 #1 songs on the country music charts, with cuts by country legends (Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, George Strait) to current country chart toppers (Tim McGraw, Keith Urban) to blues icons (Etta James) to rock and roll legends (Van Morrison, Bob Seger). He has won six Americana Music Awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting in 2009 as well as Song of the Year in 2017 for Close Ties’ single “It Ain’t Over Yet,” which is a vocal collaboration between Crowell, his ex-wife Rosanne Cash, and John Paul White. Rolling Stone Country premiered the Reid Long-directed video for the song stating, “The evocative lyrics call to mind the two-tone, punked-out cover image from Cash’s 1985 LP Rhythm and Romance, which preceded Crowell’s mainstream country breakthrough of five consecutive Number One hits from 1988’s Diamonds & Dirt and the subsequent collapse of the couple’s marriage.” The video also features legendary harmonica player Mickey Raphael and can be seen HERE. The Nashville Scene called the track “a folky shuffle about not quitting even if you feel like you have nothing left to offer. The elegantly crafted song takes the form of a conversation…and it’s one gem among many on Crowell’s album Close Ties.”