Wednesday, September 12, 2007

now playing: Emmylou Harris: Songbird: first impressions

Emmylou Harris chose the tracks for this retrospective box set on Rhino, which is due out next week. It’s as interesting to see what she chose, and what she says about that in the liner notes, as it is to listen to the music. Each stands as part of the story. Forty years of musical story, and counting, from a woman who has really followed the music, followed the song where it leads her.

There are more than seventy songs, some previously unreleased, over four CDs, and there's a disc of video as well. To this writer what comes through very strongly is Harris’ art in spinning a story through words and music and unique individual voice -- both physical voice and in choice of material. It's about the telling, and the listening. Each of these songs is a part of that connection.

There will be more to say as this unfolds, still listening to the first disc. Highlights so far: Green Rolling Hills, Sorrow in the Wind, Satan's Jewel Crown, Darkest Hour is Just Before Dawn, Ashes By Now, Racing in the Streets.

to be continued....

and props to Peter Cooper. too, for an excellent job on the notes for this box set.

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


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