A Sacred Song: Inside Rodney Crowell’s Songwriting Camp

"As a songwriter, everything that happens helps you. If you learn from it."

[caption id="attachment_218461" align="aligncenter" width="900"] The instructors at Adventures in Song. (Back row, left to right) Rodney Crowell, Brennen Leigh, Daniel Levitin, Don Peake. (Front row, left to right) Joe Henry, Bernie Taupin, Allen Shamblin, Joe Robinson. Photos by Hannah Diane[/caption] When he first started writing songs, Rodney Crowell said he’d rarely get the whole thing. “Maybe I’d get 40 percent,” he said, “and think I was done. Later on, I learned you keep working till you get the whole song.” So when it came time to plan a song camp, knowing people would expect one with fullness of vision, he created Adventures in Song, a four-day songwriting camp on the Monterey peninsula of California. Soon he made his vision public. It sounded like a dream, related by Crowell with his usual lyrical flair: “Expect our songwriting camp to be equal parts zip-lining through the trees and archaeological dig.” And if that wasn’t enough enticement, then came the list of invited luminaries, and it was pretty evident this song adventure was getting real: Bernie Taupin, Joe Henry, Allen Shamblin, Lisa Loeb, and Brennen Leigh. Add to that guitar legend Don Peake, and Daniel Levitin, neuroscientist, songwriter and author of This Is…

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