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A Little Help From Her Friends

Twenty-six years after her best-selling debut, Sheryl Crow is releasing her final album, Threads, a star-studded collaborations project featuring Stevie Nicks, Chris Stapleton, Keith Richards, Chuck D, and more.

Sarah Rodman
If she lingers too long thinking about the nearly two dozen artists who showed up to help create her new— and, according to her, last— album, Threads, Sheryl Crow gets a lump in her throat. “It’s very emotional for me knowing that this is the culmination of not only 30 years [in the business], but also it goes back to my literally lying under the piano studying all the records that inspired me to do what I’m doing,” says Crow, reflecting on her younger self growing up in Missouri and dreaming of playing music. “I’m just filled with gratitude and awe.”

The watershed release features a mix of new originals and favorite covers (she also hopes to pair the record with a documentary about its making). As the title suggests, Threads connects the nine-time Grammy winner with three sets of compatriots. There are the artists who helped shape her hybrid sound, among them Mavis Staples, James Taylor, Stevie Nicks, Eric Clapton, and Willie Nelson. There are the peers whose careers roughly parallel her own, rising in the late ’80s and early ’90s and finding their own critical and commercial acclaim and distinct voices, like Vince Gill and Chuck D of Public Enemy. And finally there are musicians such as St. Vincent, Maren Morris, Andra Day, Jason Isbell, and Brandi Carlile who arrived in Crow’s wake and have taken inspiration from the 57-year-old’s formidable catalog of albums and long string of hits, including “If It Makes You Happy,” “My Favorite Mistake,” and “Strong Enough.”

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