News / Arts & Entertainment

Sheryl Crow Finds New Home in Country Music's Nashville

Singer Sheryl Crow arrives at the Us Weekly Hot Hollywood Style Issue Event in Hollywood, California April 22, 2010. (File photo)
Singer Sheryl Crow arrives at the Us Weekly Hot Hollywood Style Issue Event in Hollywood, California April 22, 2010. (File photo)
Reuters
Sheryl Crow has spent the past seven years living the country life in country music's capital with her country music friends, but the Grammy-winning rocker has only now come around to recording a country music album.
 
Feels Like Home, which will be released on Sept. 10, is the culmination of the 51-year-old mother of two's latest musical conversion, this time into a country singer.
 
“This album feels very natural,” Crow said in an interview at her 50-acre (20-hectare) estate on the outskirts of Nashville, where she keeps 11 horses, two head of longhorn cattle and dogs.
 
“It's an extension of who I am, where I live. It doesn't seem like too big of a departure. I've been absorbed into the city limits of Nashville.”
 
But it was just 20 years ago when Crow catapulted to pop-rock radio sensation with “All I Wanna Do,” proclaiming that “all I want to do is have some fun until the sun comes up over Santa Monica Boulevard,” the street that traverses Los Angeles.
 
Crow has sold upward of 20 million albums and has managed to make the transition from 1990s' barroom rocker to polished pop singer in the first decade of the 2000s and now to a new residence in country.
 
In that time, she credits Rock & Roll Hall of Famers The Rolling Stones and Tom Petty, both of whom she has worked with, for helping her find her country voice, namely the Stones' 1969 song “Country Honk” and Petty's Southern-bred storytelling.
 
“After 25 years of songwriting, some of my best is on this record,” she said. “Nashville's breathed new life into my songwriting career.”
 
Crow has already scored a top 30 single on Billboard's county music chart with “Easy,” an up-tempo love song about domestic happiness.
 
Crow did get some help from her country music friends during her transition to Nashville, crediting her country conversion to critical favorite Emmylou Harris and country mega-star Brad Paisley, who had long told Crow to take a leap of faith.
 
Paisley's persistence
 
Country singer Brad Paisley performs in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington July 21, 2009. (File photo)Country singer Brad Paisley performs in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington July 21, 2009. (File photo)
x
Country singer Brad Paisley performs in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington July 21, 2009. (File photo)
Country singer Brad Paisley performs in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington July 21, 2009. (File photo)
“He'd say, 'If your records were to come out now, they would be on country radio,”' Crow said.
 
She finally succumbed, thanks to a performance she did with Loretta Lynn and Miranda Lambert of Lynn's autobiographical “Coal Miner's Daughter” at the 2010 Country Music Association Awards show.
 
“After that, he [Paisley] came to me and said, 'Now, will you come home to the format you belong to?”' she recalled.
 
Paisley reminded Crow that she had long used country music's twangy trademark pedal steel guitar in her songs, even back when she was having fun at dawn on Santa Monica Boulevard in 1993.
 
Her songs, like country music in general, were three-minute stories, he also told her. Crow said she followed his advice of “turning your vocals up and getting songs more first-person ... He dug in his heels and said, 'You are doing this.”'
 
Paisley even helped, co-writing the song “Waterproof Mascara” on the album. Feels Like Home in fact is Crow's first album collaborating with another songwriter on each track.
 
His songwriting advice was pretty simple: “Leave out the fat and get to the imagery,” Crow said with a flash of a smile.
 
The end result had her immerse herself in the Nashville-style of songwriting, teaming up with writers of like spirit, and creating - usually from scraps of ideas brought to the sessions by Crow - a dozen songs.
 
But in her musical transition, Crow also found that country music had shifted its sounds as well.
 
“The country format is more pop than pop was when I came up” two decades ago, Crow said about her rock 'n' roll days.
 
“Waterproof Mascara,” Crow's favorite track from her new album, may never get played on mainstream country radio, she admits, because it is “too country.”
 
“I love the country format,” Crow said, adding that now that she has done her work, “country fans will decide” if it is indeed her home.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countriesi
X
December 16, 2014 2:14 PM
Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.
Video

Video Indonesian Province to Expand Sharia Law

Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population and a legal system based on Dutch civil law and Indonesian government regulations. But in a 2001 compromise with separatists, Aceh province in Sumatra island’s north was allowed to implement Sharia law. Since then, religious justice has become increasingly strict. VOA correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh.
Video

Video Some Russian Businesses Thrive in Poor Economy

Capital flight, the fall in oil prices and Western sanctions are pushing Russia's staggering economy into recession. But not companies are suffering. The ruble’s drop in value has benefited exporters as well as businesses targeting increasingly frugal customers. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Soul Lounge

"Soul Lounge" host Shawna Renee catches up with soul singer and songwriter Russell Taylor to hear what he’s been up to since winning the VH1 "You Oughta Know" title in 2013. She also convinces him to share a few songs from his album "War of Hearts."