Wednesday, October 03, 2007

now playing: Emmylou Harris: Songbird: disc three


Emmylou Harris has always had an ear for harmonies and and adventurous taste in what to do with them, whether she’s the one singing lead or the one adding to that. That’s led to many remarkable moments of music, some of which are revisited on disc three of Songbird. Harris, Linda Ronstadt, and Dolly Parton became friends more than thirty years ago “and we just liked the way our voices sounded together,” Harris says. So do a lot of other people. Two unreleased tracks from their sessions together over the years, the militant hymn Palms of Victory and the quiet Softly and Tenderly, as well as Jean Ritchie’s classic folk song Dear Companion, which was on the first Trio album, are included here. Beck, Sheryl Crow, Steve Earle, the Pretenders, Mary Black, and others turn up for musical partnership. There’s a good amount of solo work, too, including the heretofore unreleased Immigrant Eyes and one of Harris’s more personal songs, All I Left Behind, as well as Love Still Remains and Hobo’s Lullaby. Though many of the songs are sad -- “ a lot of these songs are ones we left out of projects, that’s one reason there are so many sad ones,” Harris explains in the liner notes -- one comes away from this disc with a clear sense of Harris the musician, a woman who enjoys all the possibilities that melody, harmony, word, and voices may offer.

video of Emmylou Harris, Dolores Keane, and Mary Black singing Sonny from 1991.

more about Songbird

ahead, more on disc one, disc four, and the videos

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


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