“I’ve always seen myself as a relentless song-finder, a singer of other people’s work whom I admire greatly, and an occasional songwriter.” What Emmylou Harris is too modest to admit is that she has grown into more than just an “occasional” songwriter. This time out, Harris has beautifully interpreted songs by Patty Griffin (“Moon Song”), Billie Joe Shaver (“Old Five And Dimers Like Me”), Mark Germino (“Broken Man’s Lament”), Merle Haggard (“Kern River”), and others. She has also contributed outstanding songs of her own that are a match for the covers.
A recent inductee into the Country Music Hall Of Fame, Harris has won 12 Grammy awards over her 40 year career. For the first time in 25 years, Harris has returned to work with Brian Ahern, who produced her first 11 albums. To celebrate the occasion, she has enlisted an all-star cast of players, including Dolly Parton and Vince Gill, who provide harmonies on Harris’ “Gold,” and the McGarrigle sisters, who co-wrote two songs with Harris and add their unique vocal style to both. Throughout the album, Harris is accompanied by a remarkably sympathetic group of session players.
Emmylou Harris has never been in better voice, and has never written such a strong collection of songs for an album. If you can appreciate those virtues, and the brilliant musicianship that accompanies them, this album is for you.
In A Word: Regal