Rodney Crowell’s new album, Close Ties, demonstrates his strengths as a songwriter and illustrates how he has learned to balance personal recollection, literary sophistication, and his profound musical reach. Close Ties is at once his most intimate record and his most accessible, the product of years of understanding the ways songs can enter - and be entered by - life. “It’s a loose concept album, you could say,” Crowell says. “And the concept is related to how you tell stories about yourself.

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