Ain't Living Long Like This
The future of country music was waiting to be discovered on Rodney Crowell’s Ain’t Living Long Like This. Sad to say, all too few availed themselves of the opportunity when this album was released in 1978. At the time, Crowell had just left Emmylou Harris’ Hot Band with an armful of killer tunes and a desire to shake up Nashville, and on these tracks, he sings with both a sense of tradition and an edge of desperation, backed up by such stellar guest players as Ry Cooder, Ricky Scaggs and Dr. John. There’s a hint of backwoods rage and violence running through songs like the Cajun-flavored “Leaving Louisiana In The Broad Daylight” and the rockabilly-fueled title tune. Balancing this rebel strain are gentler expressions of hard-won wisdom like “Song For The Life” and “Voila, An American Dream.” Crowell compliments his originals with such well-chosen covers as Dallas Frazier’s “Elvira” (rendered as a twangy blues) and the Elvis favorite “A Fool Such As I.” Though it fizzled in the marketplace, Ain’t Living Long Like This proved highly influential among other artists and paved the way for Crowell’s much-deserved success a decade later.