Crazy as Me

Crazy as Me

by Robert Lee Castleman
     
 
Robert Lee Castleman, an honest-to-God truck-drivin' man when he's not playing music, seems to have picked up all the right lessons from such forebears as Billy Joe Shaver, Tom Waits, Fred Neil, and Tim Hardin, while bringing his own folk-jazz influences

Overview

Robert Lee Castleman, an honest-to-God truck-drivin' man when he's not playing music, seems to have picked up all the right lessons from such forebears as Billy Joe Shaver, Tom Waits, Fred Neil, and Tim Hardin, while bringing his own folk-jazz influences into the mix. The resulting album is one of the year's most startling debuts. Delivering tart, introspective lyrics in a gruff voice full of unexpected sensitivity, Castleman (whose songs have been recorded by Alison Krauss and Suzy Bogguss, among others) conjures images of a lone wolf at large in the world, searching for love while admitting to his unwillingness to tame his wanderlust. "It's my life/even if it's out of control," he sings in "My Life"; " I can't settle down/at the end of the road/there's another town/where the people want to hear/a man who sings the blues," he relates in "You Can't Change Me." Lyrics like these dot the ten songs on Crazy As Me, revealing deeper secrets with repeat listenings. The eloquently restrained folk-jazz arrangements are equally seductive, with languid tempos that create an intimate ambience, evoking a late-night bull session with a close friend. Even the frustrations and shortcomings the artist confronts help to paint a riveting portrait of a man intent on being true to himself first and accepting the consequences of his solitary odyssey as the price to be paid for staying whole.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Robert Lee Castleman begins and ends his debut album with songs about the tension between settling down and moving on, and he touches upon the subject elsewhere as well. The collection's ten songs follow a rough narrative about a man who has to keep traveling ("Nobody Said That [It Would Be Easy]") but who nevertheless encounters love ("Like Red on a Rose") and despite his sense that he will never find a partner as "Crazy as Me," he begins to wonder if he shouldn't "Stay Here." He quickly discovers, however, that his companion wants to domesticate him ("You Can't Change Me") and determines that he should be "Movin' On." This is all fairly conventional stuff in the country-folk world Castleman inhabits, but he occasionally comes up with a turn of phrase that goes beyond the clichés. Though he sings his own lyrics feelingly, he is possessed of a wheezy tenor that doesn't do full justice to his songs, and the album can be seen as, in effect, a highly polished demo for the country singers who may one day find hits in such songs as "Stay Here" and "I Can't Believe You (Unless You Lie)."

Product Details

Release Date:
08/08/2000
Label:
Rounder / Umgd
UPC:
0011661047525
catalogNumber:
610475

Tracks

Album Credits

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >