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Kin: Songs by Mary Karr & Rodney Crowell

4.8 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Grammy Award-winner Rodney Crowell and New York Times Best Selling author Mary Karr are scheduled to release KIN, SONGS BY MARY KARR AND RODNEY CROWELL on Vanguard Records on June 5, 2012. Produced by Joe Henry, Kin marks the first collaboration between the two writers and is Karr's entry into the world of music.


Long known as a poet among songwriters, Crowell is a masterful storyteller and hit generator. He charted five consecutive number one hits with his debut Diamonds and Dirt and has become one of the most critically acclaimed artists in country music. Crowell's songs have been recorded by the likes of Johnny Cash and Rosanne Cash, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw and Norah Jones. He was recently inducted into the Songwriter Hall of Fame between Willie Nelson and Guy Clark. After reading Karr's memoirs-Cherry and The Liar's Club-which spent over a year on the New York Times Bestsellers list and allegedly kick-started the memoir craze-Crowell name-checked her in Earthbound," a track off his critically acclaimed album Fates' Right Hand.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 5, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: June 5, 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Vanguard
  • ASIN: B007TCAWT6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,779 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Carol DeChant on June 22, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I confess that I had never heard of Rodney Crowell before I bought this. I'm a fan of writer Mary Karr, and was intrigued at her venture into co-writing music with a country singer. I can now say that Crowell's "I'm a Mess" is worth the price of the whole set. If I could reproduce even one verse of this brilliantly intricate song here I would, but it's sung so fast I couldn't transcribe it. "A Father's Advice" (sung with Kris Kristopherson) is great good fun, extending an old saying into vast, amusing, (yet wise) warnings to a kid leaving home. Norah Jones does a wonderful "If the Law Don't Want You (Neither Do I)," portraying one of those girls who are a "sucker for a bold-faced lie." We've all known a girl like this (some of us ARE a girl like this!). "Long Time Girl Gone By" (sung by Emmy Lou Harris) is outstanding. I'm not sure which ones Karr contributed to, but it doesn't matter. The lyrics all have a high level of subtlety, creativity and beauty; the performances are stellar, all of which which make the set replayable again & again for me.
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I have been waiting forever for this CD and now I can't quit listening to it!

I'm a big fan of Mary Karr's writings and to hear her beautiful words set to music in songs such as "Sister, Oh Sister" (Roseanne Cash never sounded better) and Emmylou's "Long Time Girl Gone By" is so touching. She and Rodney crank it up with Crowell's "I'm a Mess" and Womack's "Momma's on a Roll" so your boots will be a'tapping. Those are my four favorite songs so far but the entire album is awesome.

Rodney Crowell is a smart man and knows talent when he hears it/reads it. Mary Karr is sharp in hitching her wagon to such an amazing legendary songwriter. The two work well together and we are the beneficiary of their collaboration.
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I haven't been exposed much to Country music, other than that "Country Rock" crap that has become popular since Achey Breaky Heart. So I never bothered to search out anything Country. I am, however, an NPR fan. I heard an interview on NPR with Mary Karr and Rodney Crowell and heard song excerpts from this CD. I found the stories of the songwriting compelling and enjoyed the little snippets I heard, so I decided to order Kin.

This CD is rich and lush and gorgeous. Some of the songs make me laugh, some make me tear up. But I love every single song on this CD. My only regret is that it's not a 3 hour CD. I could listen all day. I would be hard pressed to imagine this album wouldn't appeal to fans of all sorts of music.
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Rodney Crowell has been a long time favorite of mine. His songwriting touches me somewhere deep inside and almost always makes me smile, with a tear running down my cheek. The great thing is that he writes about important topics like love lost, world changing events, family trouble, drink trouble, trouble fitting in, you name it, he's probably written a song about it. All of these negative topics seem to come out of him as just a part of life that he can deal with. He comes across as what I call a forever optimist: there really is a silver lining in every cloud.

Here he has teamed up with Mary Karr, a poet that is definitely a good match, as a co-writer. They both grew up in Texas, they both had troubled families, and they both are fantastic writers. So the songs are the stories of their lives. They kick it up a notch by inviting some of the very best performers in the current country and pop world to sing the songs.

I especially love the song " Momma's on a Roll " sung by LeAnn Womack. Yeah, momma and daddy got a drinking problem, and marriage trouble, from the daughter's point of view. Then we get to Rodney Crowell and Kris Kristofferson (in the dad's voice) on "My Father's Advice" which is just a joy to listen to. The advice given in the chorus by Kristofferson is fairly simple: Never eat in a place called Mom's/don't play cards with a guy named Doc/if you find yourself in a high stakes game, tuck your big bills in your sock/be careful who you cotton to, especially the girls/ if you find someone who loves you son, go on and give it a whirl. Kristofferson's broken old voice (he's in his 70's!) is perfect for this song.
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By Danetta on August 16, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Rodney never fails !!
With the addition of Mary Karr and
the other great voices ,every song
Is really good.....and that's rare
on any album !!!!!!
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I bought this cd after hearing Crowell's "I'm a Mess" on satellite radio. I was not familiar with Ms Karr's work, but am a fan now. The collection of artists is super, and they match the quality of the music. This may be my favorite collection ever!
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I have been following Mr Crowell since he married into the Cash clan. His voice is as unique as Dylan's and his song writing is superior. I was recently listening to Sirius when I heard some licks. At the first cord change I knew he had dropped a new album. Rodney once said that desperation was Three A.M. wishing you could write like Dylan and knowing you never would. Listen to "I'm a Mess" and you will know the lyrics are every bit as good as Dylan.
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