Artist: Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell
Album: The Traveling Kind
Label: Nonesuch Records
Release Date: 05/12/15
When we go to our graves whistling tunes made memorable by either Harris or Crowell, it’s unlikely (save maybe the aching “No Memories Hanging ‘Round,” the sly “If You Lived Here,You’d Be Home Now,” or the yearning, earth-bound “Higher Mountains”) that any of the other eight cozy, oft-times melancholic tunes from The Traveling Kind will be on our lips or in our hearts. And that’s not meant as a swipe towards this follow-up to the old friend’s Grammy winning declaration Old Yellow Moon as much as a shout-out to the pair’s rich, deep canons.
But from the front porch breeziness of the opening title track to the Bourbon Street groove of “La Danse de la Joie” one intuitively senses it was never Harris nor Crowell’s intention to make any great statements. Instead there’s a road like feel: Roll up to the club, get the gear through the back door through the kitchen to the stage and start playing. Maybe the owner throws ya a fried steak and a beer. Whether it’s a packed house or a sparse collection of stragglers hoping to forget their own follies, you bring the boogie (“Bring It On Home To Memphis’) and the empathy (“You Can’t Say We Didn’t Try,” “Just Pleasing You.”) With voices that ballet around each other like wisps of those early Harris/Gram Parsons duets, The Traveling Kind simply proves we are all kindred spirits in search of a good song.
– Mike Jurkovic