Country music veteran Rodney Crowell celebrated the release of his new memoir, 'Chinaberry Sidewalks,' on Wednesdsay, Dec. 15 with an event that combined live music, readings from his book, and cocktails with peers such as John Prine, his former boss Emmylou Harris, and Vince Gill. 

According to CMT, the book, which Crowell spend parts of 10 years writing, focuses not on his musical career but on his childhood, spent growing up poor with loving parents who bickered constantly.

"The title comes from a scene in 1958 when my mother and I are planted chinaberry trees," he explains on his website, "we planted three of them. We had named one Rodney, that was me ... Rodney grew to be a glorious chinaberry tree right along the sidewalks."

After being introduced by his oldest daughter, Crowell took turns reading excerpts from the book and performing songs, both by himself and joined by his famous friends, in the barn-sized recording studio where the party was held.

Rodney Crowell moved to Nashville in the 1970s to make a living writing songs. He soon was recruited to join Emmylou Harris' band, then left to form his own group and eventually became one of the most acclaimed and beloved songwriters in all of country music.

'Chinaberry Sidewalks' will be released on Jan. 18, 2011. Crowell will embark on a nationwide tour to promote the book beginning Jan. 29 in New Braunfels, Texas.