Here’s a link to an in-depth interview with Emmylou Harris, alt-country godmother, roots music interpreter, and sought-after musical collaborator. Thanks once again to Clash Magazine for such a great interview!
Discovered by the Byrds, inspired by the Band, and mentored by Gram Parsons, Harris struck out on her own by the mid-70s, cutting albums which are in a country vein. But she didn’t limit the possibilities of the genre by sticking to the rules. She included material from the folk, pop, and rock worlds as well, which brought her skills as an interpretive artist to light across the entire musical spectrum.
Along with her ensuing output as a solo artist through the 70s and into the 80s and 90s, her work on two albums with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt – Trio, and Trio II – overtly bridged the gap between traditional country and Californian country rock, among many other pop influences that extended to a version of Phil Spectre’s “To Know Him Is To Love Him”, originally recorded by late 50s pop vocal group The Teddy Bears. And her landmark 1995 album Wrecking Ball, produced by Daniel Lanois, showcased her take on songs from Steve Earle to Jimi Hendrix.
Today, she’s enjoying the attention of new audiences, has begun to put increased efforts into her own songwriting along with her continuing development as an interpreter. Harris has maintained an exemplary reputation in strong supporting roles as a backing vocalist, appearing on record and in concert with artists like Neil Young, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, Mark Knopfler, and Ryan Adams, among many others.
Her newest album, All I Intended to Be, is out now.
Enjoy the interview!
2 thoughts on “Emmylou Harris Interview”
An amazing artist.
And for as good as Wrecking Ball is, Red Dirt Girl is superior in my eyes.
I’d heard a lot about Red Dirt Girl, mostly that Harris took most of the songwriting duties on it for the first time in her career. But, I’ve never heard the whole album!
I like that this woman is in her early 60s, and yet she’s still stretching herself artistically. Also, she’s firmly associated with a specific tradition in country music, yet her music is pretty indefinable at the same time. It’s a compliment she made about Neil Young in the Demme Heart of Golddoc. But, it can be applied to her just as vigourously.
Thanks as always for comments, Tom. Your contribution is always appreciated.