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Emmylou Harris – Quarter Moon In A Ten Cent Town

Here’s another one I found elsewhere on the day of my Scotty’s run…

The Beam Me Up Scotty’s Series, Part 22/25 (CD)

Emmylou two days in a row! Life is grand!

Here we have yet another stellar record, this one from 1978. There’s real emotion, real life lived, love and loss in her incredible voice.

Once again the band is perfect, including James Burton, Rodney Crowell, Rick Danko, Garth Hudson, Willie Nelson, Ricky Skaggs (and others!).

It’s a pure great country record, tender and playful, warm and strong. It’s exactly the kind of thing you want when you need to get right.

Emmylou Harris – A Cowgirl’s Prayer

Here’s another album I found elsewhere, still under the Scotty’s trip banner…

The Beam Me Up Scotty’s Series, Part 21/25 (CD)

It’s already well-established around these parts that I love the work and incredible vocal talents of Emmylou Harris. I like to believe I know the real thing when I hear it, and she’s one for sure.

This album is one of the finest records by her. It’s packed with humour, faith, understanding, openess, clarity and love.

The sound is perfectly captured, the band nails it, and Emmylou makes it all sound so easy.

If you see it, buy with confidence.

Emmylou Harris – Elite Hotel

The Beam Me Up Scotty’s Series, Part 11/25 (LP)

I love Emmylou Harris’ work, full stop. Can’t believe I got this LP for $2.

It’s a wee bit scattered, as she covers Buck Owens, Patsy Cline, Wayne Kemp, Gram Parsons, Earl Montgomery, Rodney Crowell, the Beatles, Don Gibson, Hank Williams and more. Utterly sublime.

This was her first #1 country album, and it’s no surprise. Her voice soars with passion, the songs are tastefully chosen, and it all comes together in a perfect package.

Get your copy. What beauty!

Emmylou Harris – Wrecking Ball

I’m torn. I loved this record. And I didn’t.

Let me explain.

I bought this in Taranna with Mike on our most recent annual excursion. It came highly recommended from many folks. Hell, even Robert Plant (I read it somewhere) praised the damn thing, and later made his own version with Alison Krauss (Raising Sand).

Made in 1995, I get that with this record Emmylou was probably wanting to distance herself from what was happening in country (pop?) at the time, and get her own, closer to roots sound. That’s cool.

And it really is a stunning record. Harris’ vocals are arresting, haunting and gorgeous. The songs drift along and pull you in. Tracks like Every Grain Of Sand and Sweet Old World blew me away. This is a really, really good record. It is!

You’re waiting for the ‘But…’ aren’t you. Well, here it is.

But, on some songs, it’s too much damn Lanois. He’s a one-trick pony, and he does that thing he does. So here we have Emmylou, a superlative talent in her own right, singing over some songs that could have been on a U2 or Lanois solo record.

In all fairness, it’s not a bad sound. And maybe, released when it was, it was actually influential on a lot of records released after it and that’s why it seems a bit done. And not all of the songs here are like that, to be sure, but it was enough to make me unable to shake the thought.

So I loved it, because I love Emmylou, and when she shines through it’s a glorious thing. But I also didn’t love it, because too much Lanois. Shame, that, because I wanted to rave about it unreservedly. I’m gonna give it more listens, see if it changes for me.

I still liked it, though, more than I didn’t. And that’s something.

Emmylou Harris – Bluebird

Emmylou Harris – Bluebird

I dropped the needle on this classic LP last night, and fell in love all over again. Emmylou is an amazing woman, truly a giant and an inspiration in country music and as a person too. And her voice… oh my. WHAT A VOICE! So smooth yet powerful, utterly gorgeous.

Some of these tunes she wrote herself, and others are covers, but all of them are superb. The album contains her hit song Heartbreak Hill. Heaven Only Knows was used in the Sopranos’ 5th season. Another favourite of mine is A River For Him. What a song!

One wonders if the album’s title refers to the famous Bluebird Café in Nashville as well…

No matter, whenever I play this LP, I’m always surprised when the needle hits the end of a side – I’ve been floating along happily with her voice and the music, and haven’t noticed time has passed!

Here’s the layout of the tracks here:

Heaven Only Knows (Paul Kennerley)
You’ve Been On My Mind (Rodney Crowell)
Icy Blue Heart (John Hiatt)*
Love Is (McGarrigle Sisters)
No Regrets (Tom Rush, cover of the Walker Brothers version)
Lonely Street (Belew/Stevenson/Sowder, a hit for Kitty Wells)
Heartbreak Hill (Paul Kennerley and Emmylou Harris)
I Still Miss Someone (Johnny Cash/Roy Cash, Jr.)
A River For Him (Emmy Lou Harris)
If You Were A Bluebird (Butch Hancock)

On certain tracks, the album also features the McGarrigle sisters on background vocals and accordion, Bonnie Raitt on backing vocals*, and Marty Stuart on mandolin.

I love it!

bluebird

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