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Tarpaper Sky [Vinyl + MP3]

4.6 out of 5 stars 88 customer reviews

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Vinyl, April 15, 2014
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Editorial Reviews

Esteemed musician, songwriter and author Rodney Crowell has teamed up with New West Records to release Tarpaper Sky, his new self-produced album. It comes fast on the heels of Old Yellow Moon, Crowell s critically lauded collaboration with Emmylou Harris, which won a 2013 Grammy® Award and was named 2013 Album of the Year by the Americana Music Association.
Crowell has pushed the boundaries of country, folk and roots music since long before the term Americana was coined as a genre, making a name for himself and gaining respect as both a songwriter and as an artist. Celebrating 40 years of making music, Crowell has created an album that harkens back to some of his most revered and loved works. Tarpaper Sky would sit comfortably on the shelf right between the chart-topping fan favorite Diamonds and Dirt (1988) and Life Is Messy (1992). This album marks a reunion of the creative partnership of Crowell and musical accomplice Steuart Smith, who was an integral part of his overall sound during the late 80s.
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Digital Booklet: Tarpaper Sky
Digital Booklet: Tarpaper Sky
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (April 15, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: New West Records
  • Run Time: 33.00 minutes
  • ASIN: B00I9UEG7Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,693 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After a great album of duets with Emmylou Harris, comes Tarpaper Sky which shows off his great songwriting and a voice that has more power than he's had in years. It is an album of varying influences, starting off with a country smash, moving into cajun, followed by a rocker...and that's the first 3 tunes

I read in USA Today, that this album was cut pretty much with everyone in the studio playing at the same time. It shows. Highly recommended. I liked it better than his album of duets with Emmylou.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Rodney Crowell's best albums--THE HOUSTON KID and FATE'S RIGHT HAND spring immediately to mind--are personal, deeply-felt albums wrought with heart, humor, and all the grit you find under a workingman's fingernails. Crowell has rarely shied away from telling it like it is; he's one of the few songwriters you can trust, time and again, to paint the picture true, even if it's not entirely right.

On the whole, TARPAPER SKY falls in line with Crowell's impressive, decades' long body of work. The opening track could've come from either of the previously-mentioned albums. The closer, "God What a Beautiful World," would fit right at home on Crowell's previous solo project, SEX & GASOLINE. The slow-rolling (think Don Williams) creole anthem "Fever on the Bayou" perhaps sums up Crowell best: a melody like a warm summer breeze, filled with tongue-in-cheek poetry laced with naughtiness. "Diamonds and dirt," to quote a prior Crowell record.

If TARPAPER SKY has one major strike against it, it's that, unlike Crowell's best stuff, these songs don't entirely congeal into an album. What makes some of his previous albums so unforgettable is the way the songs string together, thematically or melodically. TARPAPER almost feels piecemeal. Each song on its own shines, to varying degrees; but the journey is stilted, as the songs never coalesce into a larger overall picture. Still, for Crowell fans, this is a must-have album. Perhaps it's not his best--but like anything by a master craftsman, you'll still want to get your hands on it.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Musicians who have long careers, usually just under the "pop" radar, are some of my favorites. Rodney Crowell keeps maturing as an artist, and still has a lot to say. He dedicates three songs to friends and they are really lovely, especially the ones for John Denver and Guy Clark. I also have Rodney's terrific autobiography, Chinaberry Sidewalks, so knowing more about his journey as a musician and person is really nice.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Another wonderful collection of songs by the consistently great Rodney Crowell. For me, it's too early to tell if this is his absolute best album, but it certainly has that potential. Time will tell. There are some truly excellent songs on here, the only exception being the contrived "Jesus Talk To Me," a tune I find so annoying that I now skip it every time I play the CD, and the major reason I'm only giving this 4 stars..

Except for that one glitch, however, the rest of the album really impresses and resonates. As always, Crowell has a flair for penning songs with lyrical depth (some of the lyrics will truly stick in your head), and the melodies in this batch of new tunes are equally strong. For the past three decades, Rodney Crowell has proven to be one of America's finest singer-songwriters --- in any genre --- and this new album provides further proof of his talents.
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Format: Audio CD
This is Rodney Crowell at his best and no doubt about it! The songs are well crafted gems, and his band simply deliver the goods big time! (instrumentation is sweet) This harkens back to what a lot of us fans have been wanting, and it is so nice to hear Rodney go back to his roots...think Diamonds big time here, but of course that is an easy call. I had a chance to meet Rodney in Nashville a few years back and what a genuine an awesome individual!!!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Still vibrant, poignant and with a great deal to say, Rodney Crowell's latest "Tarpaper Sky" ranks with anything he has ever done. And if you are even a luke-warm fan of Rodney's you need to give this a listen. "God I'm Missing You" is a beautiful love song, as is "I Wouldn't Be Me Without You". Both are reminders of the great love songs Mr. Crowell has produced before and they are every bit as strong. Rodney also gives us a taste of his upbeat stylings and humor with "Fever On The Bayou" and "The Flyboy & The Kid", which are fast paced winners. "The Long Journey Home", "Oh What a Beautiful World" and "Famous Last Words of a Fool" are also excellent, making this cd a must listen. Many thanks to the Houston Kid for this gem.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Rodney Crowell is always at the forefront of what is now called "Americana" music and this album stands up to some of his best. If there is anything negative to say it may be that the music "sounds" digital and the vinyl lacks the warmth that licorice pizza hounds crave. I have both and usually listen to the CD version as it delivers a well mastered version. If I put on "Diamonds and Dirt" it's a different story. Pressing is good without surface noise.
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Have loved Rodney 4ever, just saw him with Emmy Lou on David Letterman lastnite. This is another great Rodney album!!! 💖 I have alot of his early stuff, & his work with Emmy before he went Solo. He's one of the best! This is really great album, Rodney's pipes are still excellent, really love & highly recommend!
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