Emmylou Harris

Thursday, June 23, at the Winspear Opera House

Perhaps it's ironic that the man who first placed the spotlight on a then-unknown Emmylou Harris hasn't been around for decades, whereas Harris now stands resplendently as the goddess of the cosmic-American brand of music served up by her former duet partner, the mythologized Gram Parsons. Looking back to the time when Parsons plucked Harris out of her Northeastern dive-bar anonymity, it's clear that his advanced artistic vision extended to the talent inside of people, and not merely the notes on a page.

Without knowing what lay ahead, the duo once prophetically sang together, "...and I knew his time would shortly come but I did not know just when." After Parsons' death in 1973, Harris cast his shadow to the side and began to garner record sales to match her now gloriously distinguished platinum locks.

These days, Harris uses her Grand Dame status to make music that she likely wanted to make in the 1970s but didn't have the clout to. The past decade has seen the beloved Harris release stellar collections such as Red Dirt Girl and collaborations with adventurous partners ranging from Conor Oberst to Neil Young. Long live the Queen.

 
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1 comments
Bill Allen
Bill Allen

Taking nothing away from Gram, who, obviously, could see Emmylou's talent a mile away, but it was Gram's former partner in the Flying Burrito Bros. and Byrds founding-member, Chris Hillman, who actually spotted Emmylou in that D.C. folk club and gave Gram the heads-up that she was someone who he should check out. As someone once said, we get by with a little help from our friends. Credit where credit's due, please....

 
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