Feels Like Home Sheryl Crow
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- 5Callin' Me When I'm Lonely03:25
- 6Waterproof Mascara03:32
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- 8Nobody's Business03:35
- 10Homecoming Queen03:25
- 11Best Of Times03:19
- 12Stay At Home Mother04:10
Info for Feels Like Home
“Feels Like Home may be the most focused album I’ve ever made,” Sheryl Crow says of her debut album for Warner Nashville, the label based in Music City where Crow choose to settle and raise her children years ago. “All of my albums have had a few different styles going on in them, and this album definitely has a few different takes on what country music means to me, but not calculatedly so. First and foremost, I just wanted to make sure that for this album I wrote about were things that I really knew about – subject that hit close to home.
Full of great storytelling and featuring some of the most powerful and heartfelt vocals of Crow’s career, Feels Like Home is literally an album that this proud daughter of Kennett, Missouri was born to make. “Country music is rightly suspicious of carpetbaggers who jump on a bandwagon, but in my case, this world in Nashville really does feel like home. I grew up three and a half hours from Nashville, and my parent just moved out of that home that I grew up in recently. So I grew up in a community that was all farmland and churches and school and a town square. So country is where I come from, and that’s the kind of life I wanted to give my kids, and you can find that sort of life here in Nashville. Even though Nashville has so much more to offer, there is still a small town feel that I love.
As Crow recalls, “Back when I was growing up, the outside world wasn’t much of our experience, and that’s different now. But we grew up with two radio stations that played country, but now the world is much more connected wherever you are. Clearly, I’m also a girl who also loves to rock and fell hard for the Rolling Stones and Dylan too – but you’ll notice my favorite rockers also had close ties to country music too. And I’ve love being part of the community here in Nashville, and the fact that my kids are growing up inside of that community. For me, it’s been amazing to not only be around so many other artists and music people who go to church together, and support each other’s school fundraisers, and basically have a real sense of community here.”
Indeed, it was a friendly conversation with one Nashville neighbor by the name of Brad Paisley that set Crow on the course to start work on Feels Like Home. “I had a lot of trepidation about trying too hard to make an album within the country format. Because I do love it, and between my friends in Kansas City, and California and even New York, it is what anyone who wants to hear songs, and wants to hear guitar solos and storytelling basically listens to now. But over the years, I’ve seen lots of artists try to make this transition and it hasn’t to me gone well or felt natural or real to me, and the only way I wanted to do this was authentically. Brad instantly understood how to approach this. He said, `Let’s just do what you do. Bring your influences with you. Just turn your vocal up and make your stories a little more concise and you’re already there.’ That realization that I already was at home here is really the reason this album ended up being made.”
This is not Sheryl Crow’s first musical rodeo. She is, after all, a nine-time Grammy Award winner who has sold more than 50 million albums around the world. Still, Feels Like Home captures the sound of a great and established artist enjoying a kind of fresh start. Feels Like Home really got started with Crow, Paisley and Chris DuBois -- one his frequent collaborators – penning one of the albums’ standout tracks “Waterproof Mascara,” a stunning song that recalls classics by some of country’s greatest female vocalists like Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn, the latter of whom Crow sang with, along with friend Miranda Lambert on the CMA Awards in 2011. According to Crow, “It meant so much that a great country artist like Brad put his faith in me, there wasn’t a label at that point – Brad just believed we’d land in the right home here, and I do believe with Warner Nashville, I’m on the greatest label for me now. I feel spoiled to be around people who are on fire for music -- especially after being in another situation that did not feel like that.
Gradually, Crow began working with a series of collaborators that included her longtime guitar play and frequent co-writer Jeff Trott (with whom she co-wrote such past Crow classics as “If It Makes You Happy,” “Her Favorite Mistake” and “Every Day Is A Winding Road) as well as many of Nashville’s finest writers, including Chris DuBois, Luke Laird, Natalie Hamby and Chris Stapleton, among others. “The thing about country music is the stories you tell usually get to the point quicker,” Crow explains. “So writing the songs for this album, after 20 years writing songs, felt so great because I am still doing what I love, but I’m learning and stretching at the same time. Because I have such a strong curiosity and the songwriting process that’s really at the heart of what goes on in Nashville, it’s been invigorating and satisfying to study what makes a country song work.'
The writing process for Feel Like Home was a little different for Crow. “It took a while because I didn’t want to find people to write a Sheryl Crow song for me, but in the end I loved the experience One thing I found interesting is that in Nashville people often write in groups of threes – which I don’t think I’ve ever done,” she says. “In fact, other than my first album, I’ve rarely written with anyone else other than Jeff Trott -- let alone two other people. But it works -- I think there’s a sense that if there are three people there, then a song will actually get finished.” Crow also credits her co-producer Justin Niebank as a key collaborator on Feels Like Home. “After a little false start, I was asking around for a great engineer, and Vince Gill told me Justin was the man for the job, and he was right. And after a few days, I realized that he was more than just a great engineer, but a real partner in producing this album.
For Crow, making her first album for a Nashville label is an experience she won’t forget. “It was amazing to be making an album in my community, and have my life still be my primary inspiration,” she says. “I was still driving my kids to school in the morning, and doing mommy things in-between sessions. Having a structured time to work, and being able to work at my house, everything about this just felt very loving and homey. Like the title says, it just felt like home.”
Engineered and mixed by Justin Niebank
Co-produced by Justin Niebank
Executive-Produced by Sheryl Crow
Sheryl Suzanne Crow
was born February 11, 1962, in Kennett, Missouri. Her parents had both performed in swing orchestras, her father on trumpet and her mother as a singer; her mother was also a piano teacher, and ensured that all her daughters learned the instrument starting in grade school. Crow wrote her first song at age 13, and majored in music at the University of Missouri, where she also played keyboards in a cover band called Cashmere. After graduating, she spent a couple of years in St. Louis working as a music teacher for autistic children. She sang with another cover band, P.M., by night, and also recorded local advertising jingles on the side. In 1986, Crow packed up and moved to Los Angeles to try her luck in the music business. She was able to land some more jingle-singing assignments, and got her first big break when she successfully auditioned to be a backup singer on Michael Jackson's international Bad tour. In concert, she often sang the female duet part on "I Just Can't Stop Loving You," and was inaccurately rumored by the tabloids to have been Jackson's lover. After spending two years on the road with Jackson, Crow resumed her search for a record deal, but found that record companies were only interested in making her a dance-pop singer, which was not at all to her taste.
Frustrated, Crow suffered a bout of severe depression that lasted about six months. She revived her career as a session vocalist, however, and performed with the likes of Sting, Rod Stewart, Stevie Wonder, Foreigner, Joe Cocker, Sinéad O'Connor, and Don Henley, the latter of whom she toured with behind The End of the Innocence. She also developed her songwriting skills enough to have her compositions recorded by the likes of Wynonna Judd, Celine Dion, and Eric Clapton. Thanks to her session work, she made a connection with producer Hugh Padgham, who got her signed to A&M. Padgham and Crow went into the studio in 1991 to record her debut album, but Padgham's pop leanings resulted in a slick, ballad-laden record that didn't reflect the sound Crow wanted. The album was shelved, and fearing that she'd let her best opportunity slip through her fingers, Crow sank into another near-crippling depression that lingered for nearly a year and a half. However, thanks to boyfriend Kevin Gilbert, an engineer who'd attempted to remix her ill-fated album, Crow fell in with a loose group of industry pros that included Gilbert, Bill Bottrell, David Baerwald, David Ricketts, Brian MacLeod, and Dan Schwartz. Dubbed the Tuesday Night Music Club, this collective met once a week at Bottrell's Pasadena recording studio to drink, jam, and work out material. In this informal, collaborative setting, Crow was able to get her creative juices flowing again, and the group agreed to make its newest member — the only one with a recording contract — the focal point.
Crow and the collective worked out enough material for an album, and with Bottrell serving as producer, she recorded her new official debut, titled Tuesday Night Music Club in tribute. The record was released in August 1993 and proved slow to take off. Lead single "Run Baby Run" made little impact, and while "Leaving Las Vegas" attracted some attention, it reached only the lower half of the charts. A&M took one last shot by releasing "All I Wanna Do," a song partly written by poet Wyn Cooper, as a single. With its breezy, carefree outlook, "All I Wanna Do" became one of the biggest summer singles of 1994, falling just one position short of number one. Suddenly, Tuesday Night Music Club started flying out of stores, and spawned a Top Five follow-up hit in "Strong Enough" (plus another minor single in "Can't Cry Anymore"). Crow was a big winner at the Grammys in early 1995, taking home honors for Best New Artist, Best Female Rock Vocal, and Record of the Year (the latter two for "All I Wanna Do"). Her surprising sweep pushed Tuesday Night Music Club into the realm of genuine blockbuster, as its sales swept past the seven million mark. After close to a decade of dues-paying, Crow was a star.
Unfortunately, success came at a price. In 1994, Crow had been invited to perform "Leaving Las Vegas" on Late Night with David Letterman. In a brief interview segment, Letterman asked if the song was autobiographical, and Crow offhandedly agreed that it was. In actuality, the song was mostly written by David Baerwald, based on the book by his good friend John O'Brien (which had also inspired the film). Having been burned by the industry already, some of the Tuesday Night Music Club took Crow's comment as a refusal to give proper credit for their contributions. Baerwald in particular felt betrayed, and things only got worse when O'Brien committed suicide not long after Crow's Letterman appearance. Although O'Brien's family stepped forward to affirm that Crow had nothing to do with the tragedy, the rift with Baerwald was already irreparable. Some Club members bitterly charged that Crow's role in the collaborative process was rather small, and that the talent on display actually had little to do with her. Tragedy struck again in 1996 when Crow's ex-boyfriend, Kevin Gilbert, was found dead of autoerotic asphyxiation.
Stung by the accusations, Crow set out to prove her legitimacy with her second album when the heavy touring for Tuesday Night Music Club finally ended. Bill Bottrell was originally slated to produce the record, but fell out with Crow very early on, and the singer ended up taking over production duties herself. However, she did bring in the noted team of Mitchell Froom and Tchad Blake as assistant producer and engineer, respectively. Froom and Blake were known for the strange sonic experimentation they brought to projects by roots rockers (the Latin Playboys) and singer/songwriters (Richard Thompson, Suzanne Vega), and they helped Crow craft a similarly non-traditional record. Released in the fall of 1996, Sheryl Crow definitely bore the stamp of the singer's personality and songwriting voice, especially in the idiosyncratic lyrics; plus, she was now doing most of the writing, usually with her guitarist, Jeff Trott, proving that she could cut it without her estranged collaborators. The singles "If It Makes You Happy," "Everyday Is a Winding Road," and "A Change Would Do You Good" were all radio smashes, and "Home" also became a minor hit. Sheryl Crow went triple platinum, and Crow brought home Grammys for Best Rock Album and another Best Female Rock Vocal (for "If It Makes You Happy").
Crow toured with the Lilith Fair package during the summer of 1997 (the first of several tours), and subsequently wrote and performed the title theme to the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies. In the fall of 1998, she returned with her third album, The Globe Sessions. A more straightforward, traditionalist rock record than Sheryl Crow, The Globe Sessions didn't dominate the airwaves in quite the same fashion, but it did become her third straight platinum-selling, Top Ten LP, and it won her another Grammy for Best Rock Album. It also spawned two mid-sized hits in the Top 20: "My Favorite Mistake" and "Anything But Down." In 1999, she contributed a Grammy-winning cover of Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child o' Mine" to the soundtrack of the Adam Sandler comedy Big Daddy. She also performed a special free concert in New York's Central Park, with an array of guest stars including Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Chrissie Hynde, the Dixie Chicks, Stevie Nicks, and Sarah McLachlan. The show was broadcast on Fox and later released as the album Live in Central Park, just in time for the holidays. "There Goes the Neighborhood" won her another Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal; however, partly because of some shaky performances, the album flopped badly, not even going gold.
Hit with a case of writer's block, Crow took some time to deliver her fourth studio LP. In the meantime, she produced several tracks on Stevie Nicks' 2001 album, Trouble in Shangri-La, and also recorded a duet with Kid Rock, "Picture," for his album Cocky. Finally, in the spring of 2002, Crow released C'mon C'mon, which entered the LP charts at number two for her highest positioning yet. It quickly went platinum, and the lead single, "Soak Up the Sun," was a Top 20 hit and another ubiquitous radio smash. The follow-up, "Steve McQueen," was also a lesser hit. At the beginning of 2005 it was announced that there would be two simultaneously released new albums available by the end of the year. The project was then scaled back to the single-disc Wildflower, which saw release at the end of September. Crow was forced to take time off from her musical career in 2006 after being diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer. After successful treatment, she returned in 2008 with her sixth studio album, Detours. The soul-inspired 100 Miles from Memphis followed in 2010 and featured guest spots from Keith Richards, Justin Timberlake, and Citizen Cope. By the end of that year she had performed with Loretta Lynn and Miranda Lambert on the title track of a Lynn tribute album, Coal Miner's Daughter. This country-focused collaboration was an early indicator of the direction that Crow's work would eventually take in the years that followed.
A creatively quiet 2011 ended with her appearance on William Shatner's space-themed third studio album, Seeking Major Tom. Crow's delicate, piano-fueled cover of K.I.A.'s "Mrs Major Tom" was generally received by critics as one of the highlights of the disc. Then, in summer 2012, she revealed details of another health scare. Although Crow had been diagnosed with a brain tumor at the end of 2011, it was found to be benign and six months on, she was quoted in many news reports as feeling healthy and happy. That November she issued the download-only, politically charged "Woman in the White House." It was her first self-penned material to appear in a couple of years and was her most out-and-out mainstream country track to date. March 2013 saw the release of "Easy," the first single to appear ahead of Feels Like Home, a country-steeped full-length that appeared in September of 2013.
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