Somewhere Down The Crazy River

Album: Robbie Robertson (1987)
Charted: 15

Songfacts®:

  • A single from Robbie Robertson's eponymous debut album, the song finds the former Band's guitarist singing of the levee life in the Deep South.
  • Robertson enlisted fellow Canadian Daniel Lanois as co-producer of the album. Lanois told Exclaim! magazine that the song started with the "Somewhere Down the Crazy River," title. It was a line that Robertson came up with when he was telling the producer about hanging out with former Band colleague Levon Helm in his old Arkansas neighborhood. "He was telling me about the hot nights and fishing with dynamite," he recalled. "I was curious about his stories because I wanted them to be on that record... It's kind of like a guy with a deep voice telling you about steaming nights in Arkansas."
  • Robbie Robertson wrote the song with Martin Page ("These Dreams," "We Built This City"). He recalled the time spent with Robertson in an interview with us. "With Robbie, you were really dealing with a song craftsman who would take as long as it took to piece a great piece of music together with great, great atmosphere," he said. Obviously, his time with Bob Dylan had influenced him."

    "My period with Robbie Robertson was very, very long," Page added. "I'd bring in ideas and he'd mull over it and we'd experiment and experiment and experiment. But he would encourage me in the way I would sing these demos for him and I would guide him with the demo, then leave him alone."
  • The song was a surprise success for Robertson in the UK, reaching #15 on the singles chart - his only hit across the Atlantic.
  • The Robbie Robertson album won the 1989 Juno Award for Album of the Year. Lanois and Robertson jointly won the Producer of the Year Juno award at the same ceremony.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Tim Butler of The Psychedelic FursSongwriter Interviews

Tim and his brother Richard are the Furs' foundation; Tim explains how they write and tells the story of "Pretty In Pink."

Dr. JohnSongwriter Interviews

The good doctor shares some candid insights on recording with Phil Spector and The Black Keys.

Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat WorldSongwriter Interviews

Jim talks about the impact of "The Middle" and uses a tree metaphor to describe his songwriting philosophy.

Jackie DeShannon - "Put a Little Love in Your Heart"They're Playing My Song

It wasn't her biggest hit as a songwriter (that would be "Bette Davis Eyes"), but "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" had a family connection for Jackie.

Rosanne CashSongwriter Interviews

Rosanne talks about the journey that inspired her songs on her album The River & the Thread, including a stop at the Tallahatchie Bridge.

Lori McKennaSongwriter Interviews

Lori's songs have been recorded by Faith Hill and Sara Evans. She's performed on the CMAs and on Oprah. She also has five kids.