The Life and Songs of Emmylou Harris

Emmylou Harris Tribute

On January 10, 2015, a group of great performers came together at Washington, DC’s DAR Constitution Hall to honor Emmylou Harris. To celebrate Harris’s work, Rounder is releasing DVD and CD versions of The Life & Songs of Emmylou Harris: An All-Star Concert Celebration, created and produced by Blackbird Presents.

The performers on the DVD and CD feature many of my favorite artists. The package includes music by Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin, Sheryl Crow, Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, Vince Gill, Patty Griffin, Chris Hillman, Iron & Wine, Alison Krauss, Kris Kristofferson, Daniel Lanois, Martina McBride, Buddy Miller, Conor Oberst, Mavis Staples, Sara Watkins, Lee Ann Womack, and Lucinda Williams.

Of course, the celebration would not be complete without Emmylou Harris. She performs “Boulder to Birmingham,” a song she co-wrote about Gram Parsons after he passed away. The song originally appeared on Harris’s 1975 album Pieces of the Sky.

Below, Harris performs “Boulder to Birmingham” at the celebration concert with a little help from her friends. She begins singing the song alone before the others join her onstage. It is not much of a stretch to see the symbolism in the arrangement, considering how Harris must have felt so alone after Parson’s death. But her fans and colleagues, who in many ways are children of Gram Parsons, remind her that she is not alone. It is a beautiful song, and this performance is a nice arrangement.

The Life & Songs Of Emmylou Harris: An All-Star Concert Celebration will be released in various forms on November 11, 2016.

What is your favorite Emmylou Harris song? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    Colvin & Earle: “Ruby Tuesday”

    Colvin Earle Ruby Tuesday A lot of folks are excited about the forthcoming album from Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle that is produced by Buddy Miller. The teaming of three of my favorite artists should make for some great music, hopefully. From a project with three outstanding songwriters, it is interesting that the album includes four cover songs, including a cover of The Rolling Stones’s classic “Ruby Tuesday.”

    In a recent interview, Earle noted that he brought “Ruby Tuesday” to Colvin, and the two had sung it previously on tour. He explained that although the song is so well known, their version is new: “it has a reason to exist is because we sing in harmony all the way through it.”

    On the song on the album, Colvin plays the guitar while Earle plays an octave mandolin. As he explains, “I get to be Mick and Keith. I sing the melody on the verses and Keith’s part on the choruses and I get to be Brian Jones because I’m playing the weird instrument.”

    Below is a live performance of Colvin & Earle singing “Ruby Tuesday” live from earlier this year. Check it out.

    The album Colvin & Earle will hit stores and the Internet on June 10, 2016.

    What do you think of the “Ruby Tuesday” cover by Colvin & Earle? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle Join Forces

    Shawn Colvin Steve Earle

    Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle are releasing a new album, appropriately titled Colvin & Earle. To give us a taste of their new music, the duo have made available one of the songs from the album called “You’re Right (I’m Wrong).”

    Colvin’s and Earle’s on-stage collaborations go back decades, and Colvin featured an excellent cover of Earle’s “Someday” on her 1994 album of covers, Cover Girl. The new album from the pair of singer-songwriters also will include them both singing Earle’s “Someday,” as well as other songs, including a cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Ruby Tuesday.”

    On “You’re Right (I’m Wrong)” the two harmonize on a gritty rock song. Earle explained to Rolling Stone that the song is “the darkest piece on the record — a little scary even for Shawn and myself.” Check it out.

    Colvin and Earle release Colvin & Earle on June 10, 2016.

    Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    Steve Earle Takes On Confederate Flag in “Mississippi, It’s Time”

    Steve Earle Mississippi

    Steve Earle, no stranger to taking on social justice and political issues in his songs, recently performed a new song about Mississippi’s flag and the Confederate flag controversy. In “Mississippi, It’s Time,” he tells the Magnolia state it is time to take the Confederate battle flag out of the state’s flag (pictured above).

    Below is his first public performance of the song at the New Glasgow Riverfront Jubilee in August 2015. “You can’t move ahead if you’re looking behind.”

    September 10, 2015 Update: Steve Earle is officially releasing “Mississippi, It’s Time,” with the track hitting stores on September 11. Proceeds from the sale of the song will go to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Listen to the official recording of “Mississippi, It’s Time” by Steve Earle & The Dukes below.

    Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    Steve Earle Sings the Blues at KEXP

    Earle KEXP

    Singer-songwriter Steve Earle has been singing the blues as of late to promote his latest album Terraplane. Recently, he appeared on KEXP and played several songs from the album, including “Ain’t Nobody’s Daddy Now,” “You’re the Best Lover That I Ever Had,” and “King of the Blues.”

    In the video of his performance, in between songs he also talks about his blues influences. Check it out.

    Leave your two cents in the comments.

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