Sheryl Crow Dishes on Feels Like Home
In the Oct/Nov 2013 issue of CMA Close Up, superstar Sheryl Crow explains why her debut Country album, Feels Like Home, has opened a new chapter in her story. In broad strokes, she paints a picture of artistic freedom the format has given her, as both a writer and singer. For a closer look at what this means, she shared her thoughts with CMACloseUp.com.
What makes Feels Like Home a Country album, as opposed to your earlier work?
The Country format encompasses a lot of things. One of the great things about Country listeners is that they love albums. They love album tracks. They love guitar solos. And I don’t know if that exists in other formats anymore.
You’ve adapted somewhat, then, but you’re saying that the format has opened and made room for your music too.
Timing had a lot to do with it. I was newly out of my label commitment to Interscope. I was kind of back where I started. But when I moved to Nashville, it was great. I had the freedom to write songs I could go out and play and get my chops back together, playing acoustically.
Could you illustrate that with something from the new album?
I think “Shotgun” (written by Crow, Chris DuBois, Kelley Lovelace and John Shanks) is a good example. My dad has this line: “Drive it like it’s stolen and park it like it’s rented.” I love that! It’s his idea of life. If you ain’t gonna drive, you can ride shotgun! This track really emulates this forward motion, and nothing does that better than taking mandolins and banjos – and I got to play mandocello! You can’t necessarily pull that off anyplace but Country. That makes Country unique: All those instruments are colorful and subtle. They create a sonic horizon that makes you want to get in your car and drive.
So your dad’s line was where the writing began.
We had these great musicians on hold for five days to cut songs. They’re so good that they got everything in four days – and I was not going to fire them, because we were on such a roll! Chris (DuBois) was there that day, and I said, “I’m not going to let ’em go. Let’s write two songs.” He said, “Well, I’m booked to write with Brad (Paisley).” And I said, “Forget Brad! He doesn’t need any more No. 1 singles! He’s had enough [laughs]!” This was another demonstration of Brad’s beautiful support of my making a Country record. So I got my kids to bed at 8:30 and we started working at 9. We got done at 4; we’d written “Shotgun” and “Nobody’s Business.” And we recorded them the next day.
What a life!
I’ve joked with my audiences before that I’m a working mom who does most of her work after her kids go to bed – which could be interpreted as kind of suspect [laughs].
Check out Sheryl’s official video for “Easy” below:
Revisit CMACloseUp.com for more on Nashville musicians, record production and more insight into Feels Like Home.