11 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Houston Kid is replete with the imagery of a Texas childhood. The power pop tune “Telephone Road” summarizes all the sense memories Rodney Crowell can conjure, but in a larger way The Houston Kid is about those memories’ thorniness. As much as Crowell remembers the fun he had as a youngster, his memories also bring back the terrors of “The Rock of My Soul” and “U Don’t Know How Much I Hate U,” both of which address his father’s violence. In spite of its uptempo demeanor, “Topsy Turvy” is one of music’s more harrowing portraits of domestic violence, told from a 10-year-old’s perspective: “Momma's on the sofa with a big black eye/I cross my heart and tell myself I hope they die.” Country music has long had a preoccupation with nostalgia, and it’s to Crowell’s credit that he refuses to burnish his childhood memories by erasing his pain. The Houston Kid is uniquely powerful for how it incorporates moments of fear and rage alongside the sights and smells of Houston in the ‘60s.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Houston Kid is replete with the imagery of a Texas childhood. The power pop tune “Telephone Road” summarizes all the sense memories Rodney Crowell can conjure, but in a larger way The Houston Kid is about those memories’ thorniness. As much as Crowell remembers the fun he had as a youngster, his memories also bring back the terrors of “The Rock of My Soul” and “U Don’t Know How Much I Hate U,” both of which address his father’s violence. In spite of its uptempo demeanor, “Topsy Turvy” is one of music’s more harrowing portraits of domestic violence, told from a 10-year-old’s perspective: “Momma's on the sofa with a big black eye/I cross my heart and tell myself I hope they die.” Country music has long had a preoccupation with nostalgia, and it’s to Crowell’s credit that he refuses to burnish his childhood memories by erasing his pain. The Houston Kid is uniquely powerful for how it incorporates moments of fear and rage alongside the sights and smells of Houston in the ‘60s.

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Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
11 Ratings
11 Ratings
plufel ,

No one has Reviewed this yet?!?

This is a gem of an album from Rodney Crowell. Great songs, great stories. A study of stories from life’s other side intertwined with music that you can cruise to. Rodney’s Houston Kid is a real hidden gem folks. One example: “Highway 17” is a poignant narration of the passing of time seen through the eyes of a man with a lifetime of regret and poor choices holding on to one last hope that gets extinguished by a "6 lane wide modern interstate ride”. I’m surprised that no one has taken time to review this yet. I know there has to be others that agree that this is a quality example of the singer / song writing genre's apex. Preview all the songs when your in the mood to concentrate on lyrics while enjoying the melodies and you will likely agree that this album is strong. Add it to your collection and you will revisit it more than a few times in the future.

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