ARTIST OF THE MONTH – Sheryl Crow
Sheryl Crow just released her 10th studio album, Be Myself, and I’m kinda blown away. Is there another artist of her stature and longevity still able to make a truly compelling rock ‘n’ roll album?
There’s a thick low end and laid-back feel to Be Myself that Crow has always seemed to be able to tap into throughout her career. At times funky, at times raw; Be Myself finds Sheryl Crow comfortable in her own skin and without a thing to prove. It suits her well. She’s a master of classic American popular music stylings – as she’s shown countless times over her 25-year career in the public eye.
Think about that for a minute. Sheryl Crow has been a major star for nearly 25 years and really never had a misstep. Every one of her albums has been successful both critically and commercially. Name another contemporary artist who can make that claim.
Sheryl Crow is woefully underappreciated as an Americana artist
Listening to Be Myself, it occurred to me that Sheryl Crow is woefully underappreciated as an Americana artist. In many ways, she’s the preeminent exponent of the organic sound that is so celebrated when performed by groups like Wilco or Mumford & Sons, but you’ll rarely hear her named mentioned when bearded nerds wax philosophical about what geniuses the Avett Brothers and Lucinda Williams are. That just ain’t right.
When she hit the mainstream in 1993 with Tuesday Night Music Club, the music industry didn’t have any appetite for a rootsy-sounding woman. This was the heyday of the processed pop tart and the Riot Grrl. It was either one or the other back then. Sheryl was neither – she made her career happen on the strength of her material. She’s a bona-fide pioneer of the modern Americana movement and deserves some damn credit for it.
Sheryl produced Be Myself with longtime collaborator Jeff Trott and it features a hell of a lineup of musicians – Doyle Bramhall II, Gary Clark, Jr. and Audley Freed all turn up with guitars in their hands, while Sheryl herself plays a LOT of bass in addition to the myriad instruments she always plays on her albums. It’s a damn fine piece of work.
That’s why we’ve made Sheryl Crow Hard Rock’s Artist of the Month for May 2017. We’ll be bumping her new stuff and plenty of her classic material every 90 minutes at every single Hard Rock Cafe worldwide all month long.
We dig her – and you should too.