Rosson Crow

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Texas-born artist Rosson Crow has made a splash in the art world with her large scale paintings and celebrates her heritage with a handful of country greats. Her art and persona are flashy, but the songs she loves are homegrown favorites -- from ‘60’s instrumental rock to early alt country and a classic California band. Rosson’s latest show is a Focus Exhibition at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX.

For More:


1. Gram Parsons - Return of the Grievous Angel
2. The Ventures - Walk Don't Run
3. Dwight Yoakam - Understand Your Man
4. The Eagles - Peaceful Easy Feeling
5. Roy Orbison - Crying


Anne Litt: Hi, I’m Anne Litt and I’m here with painter Rosson Crow, who is best known for her large scale paintings of decadent interiors. In a recent series, she recreates bars, clubs and saloons of Los Angeles and Paris in pieces distinguished by vibrant, clashing colors. Now today, we’ll be playing excerpts of songs she has selected that have inspired her over the years as part of KCRW’s Guest DJ Project. Let’s get into the first piece, it is Gram Parsons' “Return of the Grievous Angel.”

Rosson Crow: I love Gram Parsons, I mean he is just amazing. I’m from Texas so I grew up listening to a lot of country music, but mostly older country music -- you know, a lot of the classics growing up like Ray Price, Ferrin Young, Ernest Tubb, things like that, which I got from my parents. And then along the way, I got into listening to more of the alt country scene that was going on in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s and Gram Parsons is so amazing. That’s one of my favorite Gram Parsons songs because Emmy Lou Harris is on it, another icon, and so I just think it’s a great song.

Song: “Return of the Grievous Angel” by Gram Parsons

AL: You’ve chosen yet another one of my favorites, it’s The Ventures with “Walk Don’t Run.” What about this song?

RC: It’s kind of a random selection *laughs*

AL: An awesome random selection, great album cover. Why this song on a list of five?

RC: Well, it’s another one that I grew up with. My dad loved the instrumental rock of the ‘60’s and I just remember listening to that a lot when I was a kid and it’s such a good song. I’ve been listening to it a lot lately and it’s just a very California summer song, it’s amazing. And I think it has a very specific time to it. I feel like ‘60’s when I listen to it.

Song: “Walk, Don’t Run” by The Ventures

AL: Here’s a question for you, can you describe a picture of “Walk, Don’t Run” by The Ventures?

RC: Oh wow *laughs*

AL: It’s SAT Test time, but what does that song look like?

RC: It would be kind of psychedelic to me, I think, and abstract in a way, I mean whenever I think about seeing music visually, it always seems abstract to me. You know it’s not angry in any way, it’s very light and kind of colorful and psychedelic.

AL: I’m here with artist, Rosson Crow on KCRW’s Guest DJ Project. Up next, I see you picked Dwight Yoakam, covering…I know this song from Johnny Cash and I hadn’t listened to the Dwight Yoakam version until I saw it on yourpPlaylist. Tell me about this song.

RC: Well, I love Dwight Yoakam. He’s one of my favorite, favorite singers, writers, and just musicians. I think he’s just amazing. You know, I wanted to include Johnny Cash on the playlist--it’s so hard to choose 5 songs. I found it nearly impossible. So, it’s kind of killing two birds with one stone and I think Dwight does an amazing version of it.

AL: He does do a great version of it. And one thing I was noticing listening to Dwight’s version are the horns and, I’m going back to your artwork, for a second—particularly the piece “Palomino.” I remember going to the Palomino back in the day, and looking at your piece of art, and hearing the horns on this Dwight Yoakam song, I hear horns in your paintings or I see horns. I mean, I don’t know if that’s totally a bizarre thing to say. But tell me more about how a song like that infuses a painting, for example, like “Palomino.”

RC: Well, I love how Dwight has this ability to take these classic Country songs and style and kind of make it new… and make it his own, also. So I think that I’m very interested in doing that with painting. Kind of taking a lot of ideas from history painting and kind of making it more contemporary.

Song: Dwight Yoakam’s “Understand Your Man”

AL: Next up, I see you’ve got a classic Eagles track.

RC: Yes. My father is a huge Eagles fan, so that’s another thing that I just grew up hearing all the time and I think also has influenced my taste in music. You know, maybe some people think the Eagles are cheesy, but I think they’re amazing. And this song is another classic that is also kind of influential in the country rock thing that was going on at the time and a really beautiful song also.

Song: Eagles’ “Peaceful Easy Feeling”

AL: When you hear that, does it take you somewhere special?

RC: Well, you know I think that the song has a great mood to it. I’m always very interested in the moods that songs can create. I used to make playlists -- and I still do sometimes make playlists -- for specific paintings that I’m working on for a specific mood that I’m trying to create.

AL: Was this song on one of your playlists?

RC: This song has been on many of my playlists. All of these songs have. And, yeah, it takes me back to growing up also it’s a bit of a memory song. It definitely has this very…I just imagine a desert, California, laid-back, suntan kind of mood to it, that I like.

AL: Up next, I see you’ve brought a classic Roy Orbison piece. It’s “Crying.” Tell me about what this song means to you.

RC: I love Roy Orbison so much. He has such an amazing voice. I really wanted to bring in a list of songs that are very American in a way, and kind of represent this time in America, in American music. And I think this song came out in the early 60’s, I believe. But it still kind of got a bit of that doo-wop 50’s music vibe and it kind of takes me back…

AL: It takes you back to long before you were born, Rosson.

RC: Yes. Yes. (both laugh)

Anne: I want to thank you so much, for coming in Rosson. Thank you for coming in.

RC: Thank you. It was fun.





Anne Litt