Rodney Crowell is country music royalty. He learned his craft at the feet of legends like Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt, and perfected it as he released some 14 albums over the course of the past 40 years. During that time, Crowell penned songs that became hits, or were placed on hit albums, for the likes of Waylon Jennings, the Oak Ridge Boys, Johnny Cash, ex-wife Roseanne Cash, Emmylou Harris and Bob Seger.
But it's Crowell who does Crowell best, as cult classics like "Sex and Gasoline," "Diamonds & Dirt," "Life Is Messy" and "The Houston Kid" reveal. A smart, literate, often humorous and even more often heart-rending songwriter, Crowell is certainly one of country music's great unsung heroes. He's also one hell of a writer, as last year's autobiographical "Chinaberry Sidewalks" made abundantly clear.
Crowell will perform an intimate duo show (with guitarist Jedd Hughes) at the Sportsmen's Tavern, 326 Amherst St., at 7:30 tonight. Mark Winsick will open. Tickets are $55 through Showclix.com or SportsmensTavern.com.