5 questions: Chelsea Crowell heads forward
WANT TO GO?
WHERE: The Empty Glass, 410 Elizabeth St.
WHEN: 10 p.m. Wednesday
INFO: 304-345-3914 or www.emptyglass.com
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- For an artist, having a famous parent can be kind of a mixed bag. There's a certain amount of name recognition that probably helps with getting work, but comparisons are endless and not always complimentary.
Chelsea Crowell, the daughter of Rodney Crowell and Rosanne Cash (herself the daughter of Johnny Cash), would know as well as anyone. With two records under her belt, the singer/songwriter is trying to find her way in the music world, largely on her own.
She's touring, playing bars and clubs, including The Empty Glass on Wednesday, and moving forward in search of a sustaining musical career and an artistic presence that's all her own.
The Gazz spoke to Crowell, who had just come back from the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.
Q: Where are you and where have you been?
A: "We're headed back toward Nashville. We've been on the road for about three weeks. We were in Austin, Jackson and Savannah. Every place has been very different. We did a couple of outside shows in Austin. Coming to West Virginia next week should be fun."
Q: You come from a pretty amazing musical family. Your mother is Roseanne Cash, which makes your grandfather Johnny Cash. Your dad is Grammy Award-winning songwriter Rodney Crowell. So what exactly attracted you to music?
A: "I'm not sure what the attraction to music was. I don't think it's an innate thing. I didn't' think about it. I've got three sisters, a half-brother and 16 cousins, but it's only my cousin Tiffany and me that play music.
"So it's not like playing music was expected of anybody and so nobody did.
"I think there was a natural intuition toward it."
Q: Do you have a method for writing songs?
A: "I write on the fly a lot. I'm not a lot into planning, other than maybe a tour. I just don't premeditate much."
Q: Have you asked your music industry parents for any advice?
A: (Laughs) "I'm pretty hard-headed and stubborn. They kind of know better than to tell me what to do, but, as time has passed, I've eased up and called my dad every now and again."
Q: Your mother is pure country music and your dad has kind of gravitated to the alt country/Americana part of the spectrum. Where do you want to go?
A: (Laughs) "Forward. No, I mean I don't know where I want to go other than forward and better than what I did before. If I can do that, then whatever I do I'll feel pretty good about it."
Reach Bill Lynch at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-5195.