by Marcus K. Dowling
Hit-making country star Maren Morris’ acclaim exists as a blend of numerous factors. Not being adequately discussed until recently is her adoration of the sounds of ’90s pop/rock icon Sheryl Crow. In a recent Rolling Stone interview, “The Bones” vocalist gushed in adoration of the “All I Wanna Do” song maker.
Early in her musical development, Morris recalls “obsessing over” Crow. “I would just gush over her album inserts and see who played on what song, did she write these songs with the same people from the last album,” she recalled.
Of note, she credits “Strong Enough” as “one of her greatest songwriting achievements.” For Morris, it serves as personal inspiration. “Even though I’m happily married, it takes a real man to be with a woman like me, and I still cry when I hear ‘Strong Enough,’” she says.
Two other in-studio moments stand out for Morris when noting how her direct influence has been motivational. “We’re all in Nashville still chasing down those sounds that they came up with in the studio in the Nineties,” she says when recalling working with her late producer Busbee and attempting to recreate the sweeping “dirty drum” sound familiar to many of Crow’s hits on Morris’ 2016 hit “My Church.”
As well, she recalls a particularly poignant moment wherein she was working on The Highwomen’s album while Sheryl Crow was present. “When we were making the Highwomen record, we were at RCA, and we were running through some song, and while Sheryl was in the room, [and producer], Dave Cobb said, ‘Yeah, that kind of Sheryl Crow-sounding bass.’ And then he realized that Sheryl was sitting right next to him. But she’s so humble that she just laughs it off.”