In 1995, Emmylou Harris made a decisive break with her creative past, recording the album Wrecking Ball with producer Daniel Lanois and abandoning the traditional country purity of her best-known work for lovely but spectral musical landscapes and exploring her muse as a songwriter in a way she had never attempted before. After Wrecking Ball, Harris recorded three albums in which she made the most of her new creative freedom and honed her impressive gifts as a songwriter, but All I Intended to Be, her first new release in five years, finds her reaching back toward a sound and style that recall the country and folk influences of her earlier work. But All I Intended to Be is clearly the work of an artist who is looking to the past entirely on her own terms, and with the lessons learned since 1995 clearly audible at all times.
Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris have frequently collaborated over the course of their long careers. Their voices are made for each other in a yin-yang meeting of Ronstandt's rich velvet alto and Harris' songbird-sweet soprano. The Tucson Sessions takes their collaborations to new heights. A collection of covers and originals tracing various paths of love and loss, the performances seem to have breathed in the desert where they were recorded. Arrangements airy as the space between desert and sky are grounded by gritty guitars, splashed with color from folk instruments and filled with glorious harmonies.
12-time Grammy Award winner Emmylou Harris has, in the last decade, gained admiration as much for her eloquently straightforward songwriting as for her incomparably expressive singing. Few in pop or country music have achieved such honesty or revealed such maturity in their writing. In this 2000 concert, Emmylou Harris combined tasteful choices from her early repertoire with newer work, often her own compositions, backed by the band she called Spyboy, which featured the hard-working guitarist and singer Buddy Miller.
Emmylou Harris’s groundbreaking album Wrecking Ball reissued April 8 on Nonesuch Records. Produced by Daniel Lanois (U2, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Willie Nelson), Wrecking Ball won the 1996 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album and was highly praised by critics worldwide. The new three-disc set features the remastered original album, a bonus CD of previously unreleased material, and a DVD of the documentary Building the Wrecking Ball, which was directed by Bob Lanois and includes interviews and studio footage of Harris and Lanois as well as special guests Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Neil Young, Steve Earle, Brian Blade, and others.
The Traveling Kind follows the longtime friends' first duet album, 2013's Old Yellow Moon, which won Best Americana Album at the 56th annual Grammy Awards as well as two awards at the 2013 Americana Music Association Honors & Awards Show, for Album of the Year and Duo/Group of the Year. The album also debuted at #4 on the Billboard's Top Country Albums chart. Produced by Grammy Award winner Joe Henry (Billy Bragg, Elvis Costello, Aimee Mann), The Traveling Kind comprises 11 duet tracks, including six new songs written by Harris and Crowell with co-writing by Mary Carr, Cory Chisel, Will Jennings, and Larry Klein. Also featured are new renditions of previous Crowell cuts including "No Memories Hanging Around" as well as new interpretations of Lucinda Williams' "I Just Wanted to See You So Bad" and Amy Allison's "Her Hair Was Red."
It's difficult to write about Emmylou Harris without lapsing into a long train of superlatives – she really does have one of the most beautiful voices of her generation, and her taste in material and skill in using her instrument is nearly faultless. However, as good as Harris is and as consistently strong as her body of work has been, one could make a convincing argument that she's been frequently underrated through much of her career – more than just a lovely woman with a pure, clear voice and a fine ear, she's championed a number of gifted songwriters before they went on to have distinguished careers of their own (from Rodney Crowell to Gillian Welch), matured into a first-rate tunesmith herself, collaborated with a remarkable array of artists, and has never been afraid to take her talents into unexpected directions, from purist bluegrass to the experimental atmospherics of her work with Daniel Lanois.
The Original Album Collection is a series which brings together a collection of albums from an artists catalogue, all together in one convenient and compact pack. Each album is packaged in the original artwork in a cardboard slipcase. This very interesting in that to my knowledge two of these albums, "Evangeline" and "Thirteen" have never been released on CD before. Probably because they were not among Emmylou's best sellers, Warner Bros. passed them over when they were churning out dismal versions of catalogue material. Lucky for us, in order to release this package Rhino had to master this pair of gems for the first time, and apparently decided to do it properly. The other three titles in this packaged have been released before and with the exception of "White Shoes" have even been re-mastered.