They say to ‘sing the blues’ you have had to live them, they also say that to write a good song it helps if you’ve experienced something of what you’re singing about. I remember Tom T Hall once telling me that the majority of his story songs are true, albeit that sometimes he had added a few embellishments that made it sound better.
To country fans he has always been known as ‘The Storyteller”.With that in mind I have for quite some time been fascinated by the lyrics of a song written by Rodney Crowell which appeared on his album ‘The Outsider’. The song is called ‘Glasgow Girl’ and was obviously written whilst he toured in England. One of the lines in the song relates “the Glasgow girl assured me she liked my Texas drawl, and if I ever passed that way again that I’d sure be to call”.
This to me is a great piece of songwriting that leads the listener to conjure up images and thoughts as to who she was, did he call back, did he know her name but decided not to mention it in the lyrics, was she real or is it just at it’s best a great song from a great wordsmith. That song along with many others may be part of his repertoire when he appears as part of the SummerTyne Americana Weekend taking place at The Sage Gateshead on July 26th.
It is his only show outside London. It has to be one of the great eclectic shows presented by the Sage as also on the same bill are the legendary Texas band The Flatlanders, comprising of Jimmy Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock and Joe Ely who were originally formed in 1971, pursued a career together, and then went on to have solo careers of their own.
No doubt great thinking songs like ‘Glasgow Girl’ will echo around the walls on the night from all concerned to bring you some of the best modern stylists of country music. Tickets are available by telephoning the box office on 0191 443 4661. If you get the chance to have a word with Mr Crowell, just ask him on my behalf if he knows if the ‘Glasgow Girl’ was in the audience.