The Cicadas

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All Music Guide - Lindsay Planer
Perhaps the "music bug" had once again been nipping at Rodney Crowell guitar/vocals, since less than a year after his mid-'90s sabbatical he resurfaced as a member of the Cicadas alongside Steuart Smith guitar/producer, Michael Rhodes bass, and Vince Santoro drums/vocals -- all of whom had been in Crowell's backup band. While the eponymously titled 1996 package was a one-off project, the participants certainly didn't treat it like an afterthought. The performances are truly inspired, as the Cicadas dig into an interesting array of Crowell compositions and a few cool covers to boot. This quartet fuses a fresh countrypolitan sound structured in a pop music sensibility. ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Lindsay Planer
Perhaps the "music bug" had once again been nipping at Rodney Crowell guitar/vocals, since less than a year after his mid-'90s sabbatical he resurfaced as a member of the Cicadas alongside Steuart Smith guitar/producer, Michael Rhodes bass, and Vince Santoro drums/vocals -- all of whom had been in Crowell's backup band. While the eponymously titled 1996 package was a one-off project, the participants certainly didn't treat it like an afterthought. The performances are truly inspired, as the Cicadas dig into an interesting array of Crowell compositions and a few cool covers to boot. This quartet fuses a fresh countrypolitan sound structured in a pop music sensibility. Crowell collaborated with a number of up-and-coming talents, such as fellow singer/songwriter Ben Vaughn on the tongue-in-cheek love song "When Losers Rule the World" -- which would also end up on Vaughn's own Glasgow Time some six years later in 2002. The laid-back and reflective "Through the Past" has the sonic stamp of Tom Petty sideman Stan Lynch, and bears an almost hypnotic chord change over a firm but yielding rhythm. The infectiously optimistic "Nothing" is a stone gem, with Jim Lauderdale's trademark bounce and vocal harmonies that immediately conjure memories of the Everly Brothers or the Beatles' "What Goes On." More reminiscent of Crowell's sides with Emmylou Harris and then-wife Rosanne Cash are the ballads "We Want Everything" and the sanguinely revealing "Still Learning How to Fly." Two of the best tracks on The Cicadas are the respective cover versions of "Tobacco Road" and the rare mid-'80s meeting of the minds between U2's Bono and T-Bone Burnett that produced the storybook "Wish You Were Her." Ironically, the former sounds as if it has been sifted through the Blues Magoos and Nashville Teens, rather than directly from John D. Loudermilk's original. After spending several years as a hard to find cutout, in 2007 the Collectors' Choice Music subsidiary Nobel Rot reissued The Cicadas with new liner notes by Scott Schinder.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/9/2007
  • Label: Noble Rot
  • UPC: 617742500721
  • Catalog Number: 5007

Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Cicadas Primary Artist
Rodney Crowell Acoustic Guitar, Harmonica, Percussion, Vocals
Benmont Tench Organ, Piano, Electric Piano
Josh Leo Electric Guitar
Greg Morrow Drums
Michael Rhodes Bass
Chris Rodriguez Vocal Harmony
Vince Santoro Percussion, Drums, Vocals
Steuart Smith Organ, Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, Percussion, Piano, Electric Guitar, Keyboards
Technical Credits
Rodney Crowell Producer, Art Direction
Peter Coleman Engineer
Donivan Cowart Engineer
Hank DeVito Art Direction
Bob Fisher Mastering
George Marino Mastering
Steuart Smith Producer
Dan Leffler Engineer
Burt Stein Management
Laura LiPuma Art Direction
Scott Schinder Liner Notes
Ron Stone Management
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Crowell at his best, again

    Even the depressing songs are fun...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews