I'm rather greedy when it comes to Emmylou Harris. I can't get enough of her voice. In this case I have to share her with her long-time band member Rodney Crowell.
Emmylou credits her 1970s' beau and mentor, Gram Parsons, for her renowned ability to harmonise and it's certainly evident here, on what is a genuine country album.
After Parsons' death from a drug overdose aged only 26 in 1973, Emmylou Harris struggled to regather her musical direction. It was Crowell who provided the inspiration with a song of his she'd heard, called Bluebird Wine, and their partnership began. Incidentally, Crowell's credentials are impressive. Not only has he had his own successes, especially in the 1980s with the album Diamonds and Dirt and as a long-term member of Harris' band, but he also counts the late Johnny Cash as a former father-in-law.
So, the music. Classic country. A reworking of Bluebird Wine is a highlight. Here We Are is also an Emmylou remake of a ballad she recorded with George Jones, and the pace ratchets up with the swinging Growing Up In Texas. For me, Mrs Springsteen, Patti Scialfa's Spanish Dancer really works, and the stripped-back songs such as the title track and Back When We Were Beautiful and their more intimate setting really appeal.
Emmylou's harmonic voice makes this set work and you can't help but recognise the musicality. I'm looking forward to the next Emmylou release.
Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell
Old Yellow Moon
Rating: 4 / 5