33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Bit nervous about buying this having read some adverse reviews on here about a lack of harmony and older artists recognising the signs and knowing when to give up, but all I can say is that those reviewers should perhaps approach their local health professional and request an investigation for the condition known as "Cloth Ears".
Emmylou's voice is different, its not better or worse than it was twenty or thirty years ago, its just different. She's on a lower register, but still capable of a wide range of material (I'd love to hear her try a few slow Blues numbers). She is the finest harmony singer of her generation, just look at some of the artists she's worked with, Dylan, Orbison, Parsons, Young. I always think that if she sang with me she could even make ME sound good (and that, believe me would be some achievement!)
If I were an Amazon salesman, I would be writing "If you liked "Raising Sands", you'll LOVE "Old Yellow Moon". It has a similar wide-range of material, upbeat, standard Country, Rockabilly, ballard, and a very sad, wistful song "Back When we were Beautiful" that could bring a tear to the eye.
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
With a remarkable 74 years of recording history between them Emmylou Harris and her former Hot Band member Rodney Crowell have reunited to record this album of country duets.
Produced by Harris' former husband, Brian Ahern, who also produced many of her earlier records, she and Crowell are also joined by other Hot Band members such as James Burton, Glen D Hardin, John Ware, Bill Payne and Emory Gordy.
After the acclaimed "Wrecking Ball" Emmylou's work continued with an adventurous alternative country style that culminated with "All I Intended To Be". Now she has returned to her Gram Parsons inspired roots with this collection of neo traditional material. While Crowell has always followed his own brand of progressive country he has remained a traditionalist at heart and so this album finds them both tied by an affection for things past.
Emmylou's finest moment comes with her passionate reading of Patti Scialfa's song of obsession, "Spanish Dancer". With mandolin, gut string guitar and Crowell's gentle harmony this is an inspired performance of a beautiful song to rank with her best.
The album begins with Hank DeVito's "Hanging Up My Heart", packed with Hammond B3, accordion and steel guitar with Harris and Crowell reviving that Hot Band sound. The black humour of Roger Miller's "Invitation To The Blues" is a smart piece of traditional country driven by steel guitar and fiddle.
The first part of Matraca Berg's beautiful "Back When We Were Beautiful" is sung by Emmylou to a simple piano accompaniment as she recalls the past with a perfect evocation of nostalgia and the sadness of growing old. But when Crowell joins her with the words
"But I still love to dance, you know we used to dance the night away
Back when we were beautiful",
the effect is absolutely stunning, a timeless duet with melody and lyrics framed by shades of perfection.
There is a a perfectly realised version of Allen Reynold's delightful classic "Dreamin' My Dreams" and "Black Caffeine", another DeVito number, is propelled by more of that Hammond B3. Other highlights include Crowell's "Here We Are" underpinned by steel guitar and piano and another Hank DeVito song, the reflective and poignant "Old Yellow Moon" which closes the album.
This is an album that finds Emmylou's voice at its crystalline best with Rodney Crowell equal to the task of duetting with a legend. With Brian Ahern back at the helm and a few former Hot Band members included in the mix this is country music where past and present come together to show that there will always be a future for this most enduring of musical genres.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 22 April 2013
There is not one bad track on the whole album. Two quality songwriters and singers who have a long history have finally got back together to bring this CD. I have a couple of the songs on CDs by other artists, but these arrangements are worth listening to. Another bonus is the briliiant guitar work of James Burton, another long time friend.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 24 March 2013
Have been an ardent fan of Emmylou Harris for ever, more or less since she began her career, so I was eager to get this CD. Not disappointed - the two voices together are achingly evocative, and there is a nice choice of songs, no rehashed repeats of earlier work. The only criticism I would make ( and it is nit-picking ) is that on some tracks, the pitch is just a little too high for Emmylou, but as always, she handles this well. All in all, a great album which deserves to be played often. Long may this fab lady continue to entertain us, and Rodney Crowell is the perfect duet partner.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2013
In a recent press interview Emmylou said that in her early formative musical career she considered country music hopelessly hokey and old fashioned.Her relationship with Gram Parsons thankfully changed all that and this new collection of songs with her old Hot Band guitar slinger and songwriter Rodney Crowell is a sublime record with Emmylou's distinctive fragile and haunting vocals counterbalanced perfectly by Crowell's tenor.
A number one album in the States ahead of Bowie and Hendrix it's easy to see why - intelligent and thoughtful lyrics occasionally sentimental but never maudlin married to beautiful melodies and hooks.
Selling country in the UK is a tough act and even expressing an affection for the genre can induce guffaws of mirth or distain from even the most liberal of musical souls.
Fully understandable if your only exposure to country has been line dancing or the many lamentable Nashville hat acts with their cheesy kitsch pop-country tunes I'm no fan of them either but if this record bypasses the general public because of the Country tag it will be a terrible shame as it's quality and beauty shines like a beacon through these troubled times.
The British can do this stuff well too just check out My Darling Clementines last record - simply wonderful.
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Emmylou has long been one of my favourite singers and there can be little doubt that the 70s and 80s was her best period. Rodney Crowell who has had a very good solo career was in her band when during part of this period. He is a great songwriter as well. With the exception of the superb "All I Intended to be", I have been disappointed with some of her recent albums ("Hard Bargain" being one of the low points). So I bought this album with some anxiety. However, I need not have had any. It is a great album. A proper duets album. Emmylou sounds re-energised and is in great voice. Crowell and Harris complement each other well. James Burton, Glen D Hardin and other former Hot Band members feature to provide some superb backing. The album is tastefully and sensitively produced by Brian Ahern who produced some of Emmylou's best albums in the past. If I have one gripe and that is covers of some of very well known songs such as Bluebird. Surely, there was no need to cover Dreaming My Dreams yet again? However, in fairness, Harris and Crowell make it their own with a superb cover. Emmylou's cover of Matraca Berg's "Back when we were beautiful" is stunning. Emmylou's albums of the 70s and 80s have stood the test of time well and this is a superb collection that stands well alongside them. It brings yesterday upto date. A wonderful album. Not sure I can believe it has taken them so long to do a duets album and I hope another one will follow. It loses one star because I would prefered fewer covers but they do not detract from this album. One of the albums of the year. Highly recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 June 2013
I was lucky enough to see Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell on their latest tour.
Naturally they played a lot of the album. Live the album tracks are tremendous. The pair played for a total of three hours! [are you reading this Mick Jagger.] and they were brilliant.
The album is no exception. I would class this as a grower, and as you listen to the lyrics the penny drops. The album is mainly about getting old, as we all are. But its not depressing, in fact I found it uplifting.
I particularly enjoyed the track written by Patti Scafila [ Bruce's missus] I didnt think she had that type of talent.
A really great album.
In an interview not so long ago, former Emmylou Harris sideman Ricky Skaggs, asked about Emmylou's more recent music, wrote it off as "not country". I suspect even Mr Skaggs will approve of this collection, especially the two opening songs which are, most definitely, "Country", with a capital C. But if he's not happy even then, by the time he gets round to Dreaming My Dreams there should be a turnround.
When they were released, I described Emmylou's All I Intended To Be as "lovingly crafted", its successor, Hard Bargain, as "carefully manufactured". Old Yellow Moon falls somewhere in between, I guess, but what it has over either of its immediate predecessors is the obvious chemistry between Emmylou and Crowell. What's missing again, sadly, is Emmylou's go-to guy Buddy Miller. Last time it was because he was moonlighting with Robert Plant, this time I suppose because he's working on music for Nashville (the TV series). (Whilst I've been enjoying both the series and the music, it is still very, well, "Nashville".)
Unlike some, I don't find it that surprising/shocking/controversial that there's a song, and a good song, here by Patti Scialfa, Spanish Dancer. After all, the excellent Valerie, also by Scialfa, features on Harris's 1999 collaboration with Linda Ronstadt, Western Wall. The revisit to Bluebird Wine I'd rate a little higher than Harris's original, but the track I really love is Crowell's gritty cowboy song Bull Rider (as La Rubia, my significant other, exclaimed, he does swear a bit on that). Back When We Were Beautiful is nice, but did anyone else think it was going to turn into Ruby Tuesday? And the final song sees the album out with the gently waltzing title track.
Also worth a mention is the cover photograph, cunningly composed, it appears, to look like part of the shoot for All I Intended To Be.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 April 2014
Old Yellow Moon.
I bought this album because I am die-hard Rodney Crowell fan, and in beginning I only like Hanging up my heart. But with every listening to the album I find that most of the songs are find. I think the combination of Crowell & Harris is just excellent. The album is just like good wine its gets better and better after each listening to it. I would recommend for people who like country and country-rock. If you like Rodney Crowell or Emmylou Harris or both I would recommend this album.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 April 2013
I had the privilege of seeing Emmylou live back in the 1970's, along with the famous Hot Band and Rodney Crowell made a guest appearance.
Nearly forty years on and neither have lost their sheer quality
This is an excellent album, perhaps not quite up to the standard of Emmylou's collaboration with Mark Knopfler a few years ago
but still first class.