Meet me at the wrecking ball.

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.

6 comments

      1. That’s true! But seriously, if you knock off that guy in St. Louis, you’d have the best music room this side of Fort Collins, CO!

    1. That’s wild. Get her to play with her thumb instead of her fingers, and we’re all the way there!

      Joni kind of lost me by the ’90s (there are maybe two songs I really like on “Turbulent Indigo”, and that’s about it), but she’s got an insanely large body of great work, from the folky stuff in the ’60s to the jazzy experimental stuff in the ’70s…hey…almost sounds like someone else we know…

      I really miss her upper register and the crazy things she could do with her voice. It’s strange how smoking really effects some people’s voices and leaves others alone. I mean, Roy Orbison was a chain smoker all his life, and yet when he was in his 50s he could still hit all the notes he used to and almost sounded better than he did in his younger days. I actually prefer some of the re-recordings he did of his old hits in the 1980s when there was some fear of the originals being lost or destroyed or something, which is kind of blasphemous to say, but there you go.

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