14 NOVEMBER 2014


[INTERVIEW] FANTASY SPRINGS: Sheryl Crow to play hits, deep cuts

By Timothy Guy
The Press Enterprise

If you ask Sheryl Crow, she’s not jumping on the country music bandwagon with her latest album; she’s always been around it.

The singer/songwriter broke into the mainstream with the pop rock hit “All I Wanna Do” two decades ago, kicking off a multi-platinum and multi-Grammy winning career with a catalog of ranging from rock songs with grungy guitars to a reimagined soul record. And Crow, who played the Stagecoach Country Music Festival in 2012 and has toured with artists such as Rascal Flatts and George Strait, released her 2013 album, “Feels Like Home,” on Warner Bros.’ Nashville label.

“I think I’ve been on the outskirts of the country world for quite a long time,” she said in a recent telephone interview. “I think people, particularly female artists who have come up in country, have cited the first couple of records as being an influence.”

Crow, who is performing at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino Saturday, said her songs both current and past fit right into the world of country music.

“My big hits slide right into today’s country and probably more so into yesterday’s country,” she said. “‘If It Makes You Happy’ is very formulaic country. All my songs could slide right into country radio about 10 years ago.”

However, Crow said she’s not looking to classify herself into any one genre. As far as writing music and performing goes, she’s just going to continue being herself.

“I’ve always been a pretty conventional songwriter where I write songs that are crafted with a beginning, middle and an end,” she said. “I’m not a person who writes to groove tracks. A lot of the popular country now has gone the way of formulaic songwriting. So I just figure that you just do what you know how to do and keep your nose to the grindstone. And if people like it, that’s great. I’ll always have a fan base and it’s very loyal. I’m grateful to always be working.”

The Fantasy Springs show is the only date on the horizon for Crow for a while. She said her recent sets have been stretching longer than two hours.

“We pick songs that people will know and know they want to hear. And then we try to fill in the rest of the blanks with songs we just feel like playing that night. It just works out great,” she said.

And Crow’s set list includes lesser-known songs from the studio albums she has recorded over the years.

“For the most part, people who come out to see us and who know us want to hear those deep cuts,” she said. “And the people who don’t, we hope we play them well enough that they’re entertained. ”

Crow also gets a big kick out of fans having the same feeling and reaction to her deep cuts as she does.

“I’m always surprised when I look out and people are singing the lyrics to songs that were not radio songs. That’s really encouraging for me because I’m someone who grew up in a day when radio played not just singles but deep cuts. And those were the soundtrack to our lives growing up. That means people are still listening to albums, full albums – well, even though they’re not albums,” she said, laughing.

But Crow is not one of those artists who despises her biggest hits. She is fully aware of what has brought her success in the music industry.

“I’ve been around 22 years just doing my own stuff and I think I’m more in touch with gratitude than I’ve ever been,” she said. “I realize the songs that everyone knows, like ‘All I Wanna to Do,’ ‘If It Makes You Happy’ or ‘Everyday is a Winding Road,’ those songs have afforded me the opportunity to travel all around the world. To hear people singing back my songs, which is something for someone who grew up in a small town in Missouri, is kind of unimaginable.”

SOURCE: The Press Enterprise



 


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