Last summer I wanted to see Lyle Lovett play at Red Butte, but when I went to buy tickets, I discovered it was sold out. I decided I’d go anyway and watch the show from the hill behind the venue (a now common practice). When I got to the concert I discovered there were hundreds of people on the hill. It was impossible to find a place where you could see the stage. I was so far back I could barely hear the music.
About five years ago I went to see Rodney Crowell play at Kimball Junction. There were only seventeen people who showed up to see the concert. I was so embarrassed by the low turnout I wanted to dig a hole in the floor and disappear, or at least hide behind my large draft beer.
But when Rodney Crowell and his band started the show, you’d think he was playing to an arena crowd. Crowell kicked ass, playing with concise passion. It was one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen and heard.
The next summer Crowell played the free concert series at the Gallivan Center. At least three different people came up to me and asked, “What’s the name of this band, they’re great!” When I told them it was Rodney Crowell, they got all confused thinking that was the name of a band instead of a person.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big Lyle Lovett fan. I own his first four albums and have seen two of his live shows. But I was surprised at the popularity juxtaposition between these two great artists.
Rodney Crowell’s early albums are decent. His albums The Houston Kid and The Outsider are masterpieces. But the album Fate’s Right Hand is his magnum opus.
Fate’s Right Hand was written by Crowell as he sat in the hospital watching a close friend die of cancer. It has everything, inspiring songs like “Still Learning to Fly,” the title cut, which is a great alt-country/rap song, and beautiful ballads like “Ridin’ Out the Storm.” This album’s just too good not to own.