Rodney Crowell sizzles in a fiery cover of a 1964 hit by John D. Loudermilk, Tobacco Road. During its introduction to country music, the song became a classic American track that had countless covers by artists worldwide, including Edgar Winter, Lou Rawls, Jefferson Airplane, Shawn Colvin, Steve Earle, as well as a British band called Nashville Teens.
But of all the previous covers of the Loudermilk original, Rodney Crowell’s version would probably hold the most personal touch and significance especially when he performed the song. When Crowell did his own spin on Tobacco Road, it was during a tribute to Loudermilk just months prior to the songwriter’s demise. During his performance, Crowell was joined by Harry Stinson, longtime drummer of Marty Stuart. Together, they acknowledged Loudermilk, the event’s guest of honor, before proceeding to set the stage on fire with their spectacular, power-packed, and edgy performance of the song.
Other artists present during the Loudermilk tribute were Ricky Skaggs, Emmylou Harris, Jimmy Hall, Bobby Braddock, Beck Hobbs, Deborah Allen, Rosanne Cash and Mike Loudermilk. Bluegrass band Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, along with guitarist Tommy Emmanuel and the album’s co-producer, John Jorgenson, also graced the event with their presence. Jorgenson was also the concert’s musical director, with music historian Peter Cooper as the host. The concert was held at the Franklin Theatre in Nashville.
Loudermilk and his wife attended the memorable and star-studded homage. The couple sat, watched, and listened leisurely to fellow talented artists honor his creative contributions in the world of music. Six months after the tribute, the country-pop singer-songwriter left the world due to a heart attack.
For Rodney Crowell, Loudermilk was “the most interesting man in the world.” Meanwhile, Cooper also had a few things to say about the late country artist. “He wasn’t just a seeker of truth and beauty, he was a finder. He found it, he learned it, he kept it, and then he shared it with us seekers.”
The entire tribute was recorded live as part of the LP, A Tribute to John D. Loudermilk.
Loudermilk, rodney crowell, tobacco road
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