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 it even at 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. 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 the notes at all…she just opens her mouth and the magic comes out. she’s 63 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. it 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 best places to be.