Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell | The Vic | Folk & Country | Chicago Reader

Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell 18+ Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Sat., Sept. 19, 8 p.m. 2015

A few years ago Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell finally took advantage of their three-decade-long musical friendship and joined forces for the gorgeous, low-key album Old Yellow Moon (Nonesuch). On it the duo survey a wide swath of American roots music in addition to some of Crowell’s tunes, but they didn’t write any new material for it, so it felt like a convivial one-off, a couple of old pals serendipitously making beautiful music together. Their new The Traveling Kind makes me glad they decided to give it another go-round—most of the songs were written for the project this time, but their stylistic range is undiminished. The pair visit the Louisiana bayou on “La Danse de la Joie” and summon the bluesy spirit of Beale Street on “Bring It on Home to Memphis,” whose lyrics decry the noisy chaos of LA in favor of homespun delights like hot buttered biscuits, dewberry pie, and white-flour gravy. Pierced by the sorrowful pedal steel of Steve Fishell, “You Can’t Say We Didn’t Try” is a lilting honky-tonk ballad where both narrators express reluctance at being the one to end a broken relationship, while “The Weight of the World” is a bluesy lament for a poisoned planet. The two also cover Lucinda Williams’s “I Just Wanted to See You So Bad” (though their version lacks the original’s sense of desperation), and bring a simpatico tenderness to Amy Allison’s bittersweet, nostalgic “Her Hair Was Red.”

Peter Margasak

Price: $65

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