Sheryl Crow Reborn: The pop-rock star on her new album ‘Be Myself’

It made me depressed that we no longer experience the changing of molecules you used to get when you were in a room full of strangers sharing a musical experience. I’m looking forward to it. When I started, I wanted to write music that mattered, music that had integrity and would move people. Are you a fan of sites like Facebook? [Laughs] But we were like, “We should make a record like [1996’s Sheryl Crow and 1998’s The Globe Sessions].” And we did! They brought their buddies and hung around the studio one day. Why’d you circle back to that vibe? I’m in conflict with it. Show Full Article I did a song with Willie [Nelson] and some stuff with [Eagles guitarist] Joe Walsh. The three of you had previously written hits such as “Everyday Is a Winding Road.” What was it like getting back to work with them? Now every concert is a sea of screens. Tchad started showing them all the knobs and they got really into it, and then he was like, “Why don’t you guys sing?” So they sang on this song called “Roller Skate.” They called themselves the Five Bucks and I said, “Okay, I will pay each of you five bucks!” [Laughs] They made their first session free! I called Keith [Richards] and said I wanted to record “The Worst.” I called Stevie Nicks and Don Henley, Willie, and Emmylou Harris. We called [producer] Tchad [Blake]. SHERYL CROW:   After the country record, I started a collaborative one. I’m tooting my own horn. Outside of that, it’s out of my control. I have to utilize social media to promote my music, but it feels like an overwhelming commitment to sell everything to do with myself, with the exception of my art. Has witnessing that transition been hard? In the middle of that, I got with Jeff [Trott], my oldest songwriting buddy. When you first broke out, iPhones weren’t around. I’ve got little ones. After winning nine Grammys and selling more than 50 million albums, do you think about your musical legacy at all? So I decided to record stuff that’s already been written with people who have been influences. But we haven’t been out [performing] in a while. We’re at an age where it’s like, “We can say whatever we want!”
One big theme on Be Myself is our relationship with social media. I’ve recorded with a number of people over the years, but I’ve never done anything with them for me. There were a lot more laughs and joy and not sweating the small stuff. For a while, it ruined it for me. We wrote three songs one day, and they were awesome! It felt like a return to being kids. To read more from EW’s Summer Movie Preview, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands Friday, or buy it here. You have two sons — Levi, 6, and Wyatt, 9 — and a recording studio in your Nashville barn. For you and Blake, how did your perspective as cancer survivors affect the creative process? Then it became commercially successful, and suddenly you’re chasing the next single. He flew in from Wales, and we did the whole thing in under a month. A little bit closer to feeling fine: Singer-songwriter, Sheryl Crow, 55, opens up about the struggles and joys that led to her excellent return to form, Be Myself, out now. But at the end of the day, I feel the same way. ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Your last album, 2013’s Feels Like Home, was a country record, but your latest sounds more like your mega-selling LPs from the ’90s. What’s up with the collaborative album you mentioned earlier? Don’t forget to   subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW. I want my music to be based in truth and authenticity. Tchad had cancer and cancer treatment, I had cancer and cancer treatment; we all have kids now — Jeff has teenagers and so does Tchad. Do they join in for jam sessions? It will be out next year. We’ve all come back together after nine lives. Also, there’s something liberating to not thinking about radio or about what you’re saying.