What's Playing in Emmylou Harris' Ear?
Ginny Hawker, Letters from My Father (Rounder): "We have a saying in the South that something is as real as dirt, and that's how she is. She sings from the heart. It's old-time music, from bluegrass to country to folk; she does a traditional called 'The Palace Grand' that I find heartbreaking. I ordered five copies so I could give it out."
Porter Wagoner, Wagonmaster (Anti): "Hearing this record reminded me why I love country music: It's real and in your face. Porter Wagoner came on the scene fully formed as Porter Wagoner, and he hasn't really changed. They haven't tried to make him modern, to make him rock 'n' roll, to make him hip by adding some out-there instrument. He just is."
Jessie Mae Hemphill, Get Right Blues (Inside Sounds): "She was a blues singer, guitarist, and percussionist from Como, Mississippi. She did this great percussion stuff where she put a tambourine on her foot and Native American bells on her ankles. I thought she was from the '30s, but she was contemporary. I'm so sorry I had to come to her after she passed."
The Band, The Band (Capitol): "With those three vocalists—Levon Helm, Rick Danko, and Richard Manuel—they're just the most extraordinary band that this country has ever produced. How can you feel bad when you hear 'Up on Cripple Creek'? But I love the slow, sad songs too—I've made a career out of singing them."