I think I’ll always be a little bit in love with Emmylou Harris. Here’s one reason why.
That’s live music. No Auto-Tune (yes — people use that crap even during live performances now to maintain the charade that they can sing so audiences won’t throw beer bottles at them), no pre-recorded backing tracks, nothing. Just singers who can sing and musicians who can play. How a voice like that can come out of someone so effortlessly, I have no idea. You can tell she doesn’t need to put any work into hitting those notes. She just opens her mouth and the magic comes out.
She’s sixty-three years old now and she’s still got that voice.
I found a quote from Emmylou that I thought was really interesting:
“Years ago, I had the experience of sitting around in a living room with a bunch of people and singing and playing, and it was like a spiritual experience. It was wonderful. And I decided then, what I was going to do with my life was play music, do music. In the making of records, I think over the years we’ve all gotten a little too technical, a little too hung up on getting things perfect. We’ve lost the living room.”
I feel that. Kind of sums up a bit of the reasoning behind keeping things rough, in first or second-take territory, and leaving mistakes and imperfections in the mix, at least for me. I like the living room. I think it’s one of the very best places to be.