SONG PREMIERE: Rodney Crowell’s “Christmas Makes Me Sad”

Releases Christmas Everywhere Nov. 2

Certain holiday blues come with seasonal creep, and Rodney Crowell has felt it before.

There was a time when the commercialization leading up to the holidays put Crowell in a Christmas funk. At the time, his children were grown with families of their own, and the holiday mystique had lost its luster. He was primarily a living Charlie Brown waiting on a Linus to remind him what Christmas is all about. His Linus finally came in the form of a Hayes Carll song called “Grateful for Christmas” (from his 2011 album, KMAG YOYO) while on a drive through Franklin, Tenn. The mid-tempo ballad takes place around a family’s Christmas dinner table and embodies the realism of the holiday with the missing dressing, counting blessings and putting aside the dysfunction that sometimes comes with being around family for too long.

“I heard Hayes’ song on the radio, and it broke through,” Crowell tells CMT.com. “It’s so good, and it was really great writing, and I’m a fan of great writing as you know.”

Crowell can’t remember where he was going that day, but instead of going to his planned destination, he headed straight to Franklin’s charming downtown to get in the holiday bustle and buy presents for everyone in his family.

“I got out of my car and walked down both sides of Main Street and bought a big sack of Christmas presents,” Crowell said. “I was delighted to hear that song and even more delighted that in my little town I could actually avoid the mall, walk down Main Street and buy presents.”

It was then that he had the initial idea to put together a Christmas album that showed the realism of the holidays. Over time, he wrote a series of songs and collected them for what would become his next full-length album, Christmas Everywhere, available Nov. 2. The newest release from the collection is “Christmas Makes Me Sad,” a swinging, irresistible holiday love song written with Chuck Cannon in the mid-‘90s.

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