Be it Dylan, Springsteen, McCartney, Jagger, Guthrie, Redding, etc., any rock ‘n’ roll fan nearing retirement today was hugely influenced by the music we listened to then. But my greatest lesson yet comes from Emmylou Harris’ “Red Dirt Girl.” “One thing they don’t tell ya / ’bout the blues when you got ’em / Is you keep on fallin’ / ‘cos there ain’t no bottom / there ain’t no end.”
Excitement and anticipation prevailed as Harris performed a stunningly atmospheric, career-spanning set. This was my tenth time seeing her since 1977, and Harris did not fall short of impressive. Ever the people’s artist, she celebrated the first full day of fall with an emotionally autumnal set, reaching back to 1975’s “Boulder To Birmingham” and forward to 2012’s Grammy-winning collaboration with Rodney Crowell, Old Yellow Moon.
Throughout, Harris concentrated on her own originals, including “Here I Am,” “Orphan Girl” and “My Name is Emmett Till,” later mixing in covers like “Pancho and Lefty,” “Making Believe” and “Heaven Only Knows.” The Glory Band, held over from her recent tour with Crowell, played as an emphatic whole, adding shadows and light in the classic Wrecking Ball style.
– Mike Jurkovic