The new re-release of Diamonds and Dirt from Columbia’s Legacy division. This album was Crowell’s most successful commercial release; five cuts became number one singles. In ’88, Crowell was on top of the country charts most of the year, touring with a band he shared with Rosanne Cash. Twelve years after its initial release, Diamonds and Dirt still sounds smokin’. This slick urban rockabilly is the sort of kick-up-your-heels music that makes “hot country” radio tolerable. Smith’s sizzling guitar licks, coupled with Crowell’s catchy tunes and honky tonk lyrics, makes this a tasty confection.
Columbia included three songs from the Diamonds and Dirt sessions that never made it on the album. “I’ve Got My Pride, But I Got To Feed The Kids” is a wonderfully retro Bakersfield elbow-bender, while “It’s Lonely Out” is a dark, brooding number that would never have gotten any airplay in ’88. “Lies Don’t Lie” is an Eagles-like cynical little ditty that’s more rock and roll than country.
If you want to know where someone is going, you have to know where they’ve been, and Crowell albums are like a certain brand of potato chips; you can’t stop with just one.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s May ’01 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.