Emmylou Harris Interview

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!

Emmylou HarrisDiscovered 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!

Norah Jones Acting Debut in My Blueberry Nights

Norah JonesTake a read of this interview with singer-songwriter Norah Jones. The article focuses on her debut lead role in the new movie by Hong Kong director Wong-Kar Wai called My Blueberry Nights. This is a debut for the director too – it’s his first movie in English. Thanks to the guys at Rotten Tomatoes who alerted me to this.

Are you dubious when musicians try to branch out into acting? Well, so is Norah apparently. Yet, for whatever reason I personally find the idea intriguing nearly every time, and I’m always optimistic. We’ll see how she does, I guess. To contrast, I tend to bristle with waves of pessimism when actors release albums.

Tell me what you think of the interview, good people. And if you’ve already seen the movie, tell me about that too.

Amy Winehouse Interview

Amy WinehouseThis article from the Village Voice speaks to a big concern of mine having to do with Amy Winehouse. Well, two big concerns, actually. The first is that with all of the soap-operaesque press she’s received over the past few months, is her music likely to play second-fiddle to all of the drama surrounding her personal problems. And the second is, will Amy be an Etta James, or a Janis Joplin?

I personally think that she is one of the most interesting, talented vocalists working today. But, she’s a drug addict and alcoholic too, and the chance of her being swallowed by her own demons looks pretty likely. But, people in her position have made it through before.

There’s been plenty of voyeurism surrounding this extremely talented singer, and motives for writing about her vary, I suppose. Some of these motives are about the cash to be made in circulation, in that a public train wreck always sells papers. For me, I just want to keep hearing new music from her. And something inside me wants her to be OK, which right now she’s clearly not with drug problems and a husband in jail. I think this concern is where the attached article comes from too.

Read the article and make up your own mind on this. And tell me what you think, people.

Image credit: Pazz & Jop