Emmylou Harris has been hailed as a major figure in several of America's most important musical movements of the past three decades. A steadfast supporter of roots music and a skilled interpreter of compelling songs, she also has been associated with a diverse array of admiring collaborators. Harris' contributions to country-rock, the bluegrass revival, folk music, and the Americana movement are widely lauded, and in recent years she also has carved out a sound that is uniquely her own. Her 1995 Wrecking Ball was a watershed album for her, combining several world-music elements with acoustic instruments, driving percussion, and a folk/roots flavor. The new style would evolve on a number of Harris' subsequent releases, including 1998's Spyboy, 1999's Western Wall (a collaboration with Linda Ronstadt), and 2000's Red Dirt Girl, which was praised as a showcase for Emmylou Harris's songwriting talent. Once those songwriting 'muscles' were exercised, a floodgate of creativity opened and continued to blossom as she created her new album. Stumble Into Grace-on which Harris wrote or co-wrote everything except the traditional 'Plaisir d'Amour'-contains the ethereally spiritual 'Here I Am,' as well as its philosophical bookend, the swaying, gentle 'Cup of Kindness.' Although she has always been politically engaged, Emmylou Harris had never before written social commentary songs on the order of her apocalyptic 'Time in Babylon' or the unsettling lyrics about female genocide in 'Lost Unto This World.' Emmylou Harris is invited to perform everywhere from the massive Bonnaroo jam-band rock festival to bluegrass concerts: 'That just delights me,' she admits. 'It proves what I've always thought: that people are eclectic in their tastes, just like me. Most people don't listen to only one kind of music. For the most part, I think people just want to hear good music.'
Sun, Jun 1, 2014 - 7:30PM