Anyone else heard "The Houston Kid?"

The one cd I've listened to the most in the last few months is Rodney Crowell's "The Houston Kid."

I cant write the music, but imagine not being able to get this little ditty out of your head, imagine walking around singing this to yourself (sung by a man): "Turning tricks on Sunset - Twenty bucks a pop - Some out of town old businessman or an undercover cop - I'm living with the virus flowing way down in my veins - Oh, I wish it would rain - I know you've heard my story - Or seen me on the street - Just another cracker gigolo - Dressed up like trick or treat . . ."

Or the next song, about a twin whose brother comes home to die: "I used to cast my judgments like a net - All those California gay boys deserve just what they get - Little did I know there would come a day - When my words would come back screaming like a debt I have to pay - Lean on me I'll be strong you're almost free it won't be long - Wandering boy"

I have never been particularly sympathetic to the sort of characters depicted in these lyrics, but am absolutely stunned by the emotional impact these songs and the whole cd have had on me. (The other songs do not have gay characters, just abusive drunken fathers, suffering mothers and kids growing up.)

Anyone else know/like/dislike this cd?

Yes, I have it and like it. I don't believe it's autobiographical by any means.
No, the characters are fictional or loosely based on people Rodney knew growing up, but he was exposed to characters like the ones in the songs growing up on the Eastside of Houston.
This has been an absolute favorite of mine for almost a year. I played it to death, memorized all the lyrics, and used it exclusively to choose a new preamp and various cables last winter. I could hear all the differences in components I wanted with the beautiful, heart-rending CD. I then saw Rodney live at our local folk/country music club, the Birchmere, and he sang a lot of these songs there too. What an incredible experience, I will never forget the emotion and vivid images these songs evoke. Rodney explained that he had grown up poor in a rough Houston neighborhood, but these characters weren't his relatives. Just neighbors or others from the 'hood. Some of the images in the songs were autobiographical, he said, like the song about kids chasing some kind of crop-duster truck down the street while it was spraying deadly gas to kill all the mosquitoes in the neighborhood! He said he and his friends survived, so hopefully it wasn't DDT. Rodney is a great artist and poet. I relistened to all his earlier CDs after I heard Houston Kid. What a songmaster.
Thanks for reminding me to put this CD on again tonight!
Of course it was DDT. Theat's what they used. When I lived there they used to come on the radio and tell you the schedule so you'd stay indoors when they were dusting. Nobody ever dies from inhaling ddt (at least not right away). Ive been a fan since he was a player in Emmylou Harris's original Hot Band, liked his early stuff alot. Still some of my favorite songs- Aint Livin Long Like This, 'til I gain Control Again.
I agree, one of my favourites of last year. I played it for a friend and he went home and bought the cd. Then called me and told me how good it was....poweful writing...

Thanks for the "heads-up". I'll put "The Houston Kid" on my buy list.

Isn't Mr. Crowell the man that had some impact on the early Rosanne Cash albums? I like those a great deal.

Yes, Rodney and Roseanne used to be married.
Jim, yes, Rodney produced Rosanne's early lps. BTW, Ex father-in-law John Cash does a cameo duet on The Houston Kid, sings I Walk the Line to a different melody.
What genre is this album? I'm always looking for new stuff.
What genre is this album? I'm always looking for new stuff.
I dont know what you call it anymore. Long time ago, Crowell and others like him were classified as "progressive" country. Soft redneck rock?
Glen, at Borders Rodney is classified in the Country section. I'd look there for his albums. Now that there's "," I would place him there, at least for this album, but the record stores (the bricks and mortar ones, anyway) don't have a section for this genre. If you're going to the record store, let me also recommend Roseanne Cash's "Ten Song Demo" CD. Very beautiful, just her lovely voice and guitar and sometimes piano, great songs w/feeling. You'll find her filed in the Country section too.
I'm still trying to digest Lucinda Willams. I'm not much of a country listener I guess. Thanks for the info :~)