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Red Dirt Girl


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Music

Image of album by Emmylou Harris

Photos

Image of Emmylou Harris

Biography

Already celebrated as a discoverer and interpreter of other artists’ songs, 12-time Grammy Award–winner Emmylou Harris has, in the last decade, become admired as much for her eloquently straightforward songwriting as for her incomparably expressive singing. On Hard Bargain, her third Nonesuch disc, she offers 11 original songs - three of them co-written with Grammy– and ... Read more in Amazon's Emmylou Harris Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (18 Sept. 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Grapevine
  • ASIN: B00004XN3P
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,722 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Pearl
2. Michelangelo
3. I Don't Wanna Talk About It Now
4. Tragedy
5. Red Dirt Girl
6. My Baby Needs A Shepherd
7. Bang The Drum Slowly
8. J'ai Fait Tout
9. One Big Love
10. Hour Of Gold
11. My Antonia
12. Boy From Tupelo

Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

Consider this, Emmylou Harris's emancipation proclamation--an album that confirms that 1995's adventurously atmospheric Wrecking Ball wasn't an aberration, but a preview of more radical changes to come. Long the godmother of alternative-country's traditionalist wing, Harris here writes songs with Luscious Jackson's Jill Cunniff, sings a duet with Dave Matthews ("My Antonia") and recruits Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa to provide harmonies on the album's most compelling ballad ("Tragedy"). The production by Malcolm Burn applies sonic treatments of drum machines, shimmering guitars and echoed vocals to a song cycle by Harris that is largely original and deeply personal, filled with dream imagery and evocations of a spiritual quest. While material such as "Michaelangelo" and "Bang the Drum Slowly" suffers from an arty ponderousness, it's doubtful that Harris has ever recorded an album that means more to her than Red Dirt Girl. --Don McLeese

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Sarah L. Willis on 16 Jan. 2003
Format: Audio CD
Harris has always had a brilliant voice and surrounded herself with the songs and instrumentalists to make it sound even better. Her choice of songs is very canny and displays impeccable taste - never falling into the trap of cliche and sentimentality. Her previous albums - with the exception of 'The Ballad of Sally Rose' 'Wrecking Ball' is really the cut off point here - have tended to sound clinical however. The listener feels that she's holding back somehow, refusing to get emotionally involved with the music. 'Red Dirt Girl,' a self-penned album that seems to be the destination of where she was starting to go on 'Wrecking Ball,' finally acomplishes that.
It's interesting that both 'Wrecking Ball,' and 'Red Dirt Girl' won Grammys but for best contemporary folk album rather than best country. There's certainly a country edge visible in 'Red Dirt Girl,' mostly in the lyrical, ballad-like quality of some of the songs and the cultural references used, for example in 'The Boy From Tupelo' and 'Red Dirt Girl.' I wouldn't call this a country or a folk album however. It transcends boundaries. The production (although I don't know much about such matters) is a warm cocophony of instrumentation and vocal backing which, in combination with Harris' voice, seems to wrap the listener in an embryonic cloud of warmth, nostalgia and sorrow.
The noicable change in Harris' voice in 'Wrecking Ball,' and 'Spyboy' is that it had lost it's clear cut perfection and become raw with emotion. The voice sounds as if it's loved, lost and keeps going and the songs say the same.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 Feb. 2002
Format: Audio CD
My interest in Emmylou was sparked by recent duets with Alt.country stars like Ryan Adams and Lucinda Williams and i was lucky enough to find Red Dirt Girl on my dad's CD shelf. I can't really express quite how brilliant this album really is. If my heading for this review sounds over the top, i will say it again, listening to this album makes me think that if the sound of Angels could burst through the clouds, this i s what they might sound like. Her voice sounds almost disembodied in parts, and the production certainly plays a huge part in the album's effect. Now i may be the emotional type anyway but there are moments on this album that after endless listens, still have me on the brink of tears. There are so many highlights i almost don't want to single out particular sonds but if i had to i'd go with My Antonia, Red Dirt Girl and Boy from Tupelo. One of the best albums i have heard in heaven knows how long.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Pieter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 30 Dec. 2003
Format: Audio CD
I consider Red Dirt Girl a touch above her masterpiece Wrecking Ball. I always skip some tracks on that one, but this immaculate album is so consistently beautiful that one can safely ignore the one less than classic song (J'ai fait tout). Her music is infused with a deep spirituality finding expression in trenchant poetic lyrics, inspiring melodies and expert instrumentation.
The combination of vivid imagery and sweeping melody on Michelangelo is absolutely breathtaking, and is followed by the powerful moody rock of I Don't Wanna Talk About It Now. The next one, Tragedy, is a traditional country weepie but of course of the highest quality in both lyrics and execution, while the title track is country storytelling at its best.
The mournful My Baby Needs A Shepherd is followed by the equally sorrowful elegy to her father, Bang The Drum Slowly. The mood lifts with One Big Love that echoes the sensual ballads like Blackhawk and Waltz Across Texas on her Wrecking Ball album. Hour of Gold contains some of her most moving romantic lyrics.
My Antonia, the beautiful duet with Dave Matthews, reminds me a bit of another song that Emmylou covered long ago, Spanish Is The Loving Tongue (Mi Amor, Mi Corazon), whilst the sad but transcendent The Pearl reminds me of The Garden Hides The Jewel by Angels Of Light.
Red Dirt Girl is an absolutely outstanding achievement and, together with Nick Lowe's The Impossible Bird and her own Wrecking Ball, make up my three best-loved albums of the last ten years in the country tradition.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 April 2002
Format: Audio CD
I cannot say I am an expert in alt-country,in fact I bought this album on the recommendation of Uncut magazine.Thankfully I found a very moving, raw album unlike anything else in my collection.The production of the album is very 'raw' but it has the effect of making Emmylou's extraordinary voice even more haunting.Buy an album unlike the usual run of the mill stuff and prepare to be moved!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gandyman on 20 Jan. 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've tracked Emmylou's progress and growth since she first appeared on the Old Grey Whistle Test and in that time listened to her explore some pretty diverse stuff. It's my feeling that she's made a few mistakes along the way - one of them being Wrecking Crew. It seems this could be a minority view but I just couldn't get my head round it - too brash, too hard, too un-Emmylou. But Red Dirt Girl lifts Emmy to somewhere very different. The crack in her voice has developed into something very much more expressive - deep, husky and sexy! If this is Emmylou penning her own songs and singing them from the heart then I can't wait for Red Dirt Girl 2!
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