LOS ANGELES -- 12-time Grammy Award-winner Emmylou Harris
retraces the back roads of her remarkable musical journey that spans more than three decades with a highly personalized, far-reaching boxed set spotlighting her favorite tracks and difficult-to-find or previously unreleased gems.
Rhino lets one of the most instantly recognizable voices of any genre call the tunes for this four-CD and one-DVD collection of career favorites, difficult-to-find material and live performances from her days with Gram Parsons
and, later, the Hot Band to her bluegrass material and her fascinating concept album to her more recent solo albums and her most recent work Mark Knopfler
. Songbird: Rare Tracks And Forgotten Gems
will be available at all physical retail outlets and at www.rhino.com
When Billboard Magazine honored Emmylou Harris in 1999 with its prestigious "Century Award," they appropriately lauded her as a "truly venturesome, genre-transcending pathfinder," whose award was meant "to acknowledge the uncommon excellence of [her] still-unfolding body of work." Songbird
reveals new dimensions of Harris's languid, elegant music and explores more deeply her work as a pioneering singer and songwriter. For this 78-track retrospective, Harris goes beyond her greatest hits and personally selects memorable moments from her acclaimed career, including her favorite songs, unreleased live tracks, outtakes, demos and special collaborations - many appearing on an Emmylou Harris compilation for the first time.
The collection opens with an unreleased outtake of "Clocks," a song from her 1969 solo debut Gliding Bird
, before winding its way through the many phases of Harris' trailblazing career. The first two of Songbird
's discs follow Harris' own career, as she helped break down the barriers separating country and rock both through her partnership with Gram Parsons and then in her own career. Songbird
's first disc features two of their duets: "The Angels Rejoiced Last Night" and a live version of "The Old Country Baptizing."
Disc One of the retrospective not only draws heavily from Harris' string of acclaimed albums from the '70s, but also showcases some of her early collaborative works with fellow artists and her talent for song selection. Songbird
's first disc features covers of Dolly Parton
's "Coat Of Many Colors" and The Beatles
' "For No One," both from Pieces Of The Sky
, the achingly beautiful album that most consider her real debut. Also spotlighted are "Tulsa Queen," a song she cowrote with Rodney Crowell
; "My Songbird" a Jesse Winchester
-penned track that gives the boxed set its title; a duet with Willie Nelson
on "One Paper Kid"; and "Spanish Johnny" with Waylon Jennings
from Harris' 1981 album Evangeline
Through the '80s -- an era of urban cowboys, mechanical bulls, and country-pop -- Harris rose to become the authentic voice of country on such albums, which is highlighted on Songbird
's second disc. The disc kicks off with "The Sweetheart Of The Rodeo" from the semi-autobiographical concept album The Ballad Of Sally Rose
(1984), which features the voices of Parton, Linda Ronstadt
, Vince Gill
and Gail Davies
. Disc Two features tracks from At The Ryman
, the live album Emmylou recorded at Nashville's "Church of Country Music" in the early 1990s when it actually risked demolition. The attention the album brought to the venue is credited largely as what saved the hall, and The Ryman Auditorium continues to be one of the country's premier concert venues.
Disc Two continues through the 1990s, as musically, Emmylou's boundaries continued to expand. In 1995 she recorded a pivotal solo album, Wrecking Ball
, with U2
producer Daniel Lanois
. Hailed by critics as a masterpiece, the album is represented with covers of Lucinda Williams
' "Sweet Old World" and Anna McGarrigle's "Going Back To Harlan." Clearly energized, she followed with Spyboy
(1998), a live album of contemporary takes on some of her best-known material played by a new band -- "Prayer In Open D" and "All My Tears" are included here. Selecting songs from a pair of recent albums, Harris chooses "Bang The Drum Slowly" from Red Dirt Girl
(2000) and "Lost Unto This World" from 2003's Stumble Into Grace
Discs Three and Four focus on previously unissued material and outtakes, as well as tracks Harris has recorded for or with other artists or for projects and releases other than her own. These two discs of Songbird
also focus heavily on Harris' renowned collaborative work.
Disc Three features the previously unissued gem "Palms Of Victory," which was recorded in 1978 with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt, who were then calling themselves The Queenston Trio
. This song is the first, original and unsweetened track from what would have been the first Trio album to ever see release, had they completed the project. Also included on this disc is a previously unissued outtake of the hymn "Softly And Tenderly" from the Trio II sessions. Of this song, Emmylou says, "I was grieved that this [song] didn't come out. I think the singing is exquisite. When Linda goes up in that modulation you realize all over again why she is maybe the greatest voice of our time... and then of course Dolly was made to sing these old-timey songs... It was an unbelievable experience to hear those voices on the same song."
"In The Garden," a song recorded for but not included on the soundtrack for All The Pretty Horses
, is also on Songbird
's third disc, as well as "Immigrant Eyes," a Guy Clark
cover Harris recorded for his 60th birthday. Among the many highlights on this disc are tributes to Tammy Wynette
, Kate Wolf
, Hank Williams
, Townes Van Zandt
, Webb Pierce, Merle Haggard
and Gram Parsons. For Songbird
, Harris includes three tracks from the Parsons tribute album she produced, Return Of The Grievous Angel
: "She" (with the Pretenders
), "Sin City" (with Beck
), and "Juanita" (with Sheryl Crow
Disc Four opens with a duet with Patty Griffin
, "Beyond The Blue," which was recorded for the motion picture Where The Heart Is
. Here Harris includes. "Alone and Forsaken," a track she recorded with Mark Knopfler for the Hank Williams tribute Timeless
, and also "Love And Happiness," one of the Harris-penned songs included on the Harris-Knopfler duets album All The Roadrunning
. "Here We Are," which was Harris' first time to sing with one of her biggest inspirations, George Jones
, appears here, as well as outtakes from Brand New Dance
and Cowgirl's Prayer
The DVD contains nine videos taken from throughout Harris' career including a pair of performances from the BBC's Old Grey Whistle Test
-- "Together Again" with The Hot Band featuring James Burton
in 1975 and "Making Believe" with The Hot Band featuring Albert Lee, filmed in 1977. Also featured are selections from a 1978 performance on the PBS program Soundstage, as well as a duet with Elvis Costello
("Love Hurts"), recorded in 2006 live at the historic Grand Ole Opry. The DVD closes with a PSA from Harris discussing animal rescue, a cause she passionately supports through ongoing awareness-raising efforts and fundraising work within her community, but also through her own dog rescue and adoption organization, Bonaparte's Retreat.
Harris has recorded over 20 albums and has lent her talents to folk, country-rock and Americana singing alongside a who's who of American greats, including Johnny Cash
, Bob Dylan
, Dolly Parton, Chrissie Hynde
, Neil Young
and Steve Earle
. Since 1975's acclaimed Pieces Of The Sky
, Emmylou Harris has been a foremost figure in several of America's most important musical movements, including the Americana movement of the 1990's and the recent independent music explosion. Harris has also appeared at any number of historic musical events, such as The Last Waltz
concert with The Band
, the "Down From The Mountain" tour with Ralph Stanley
, and Neil Young's Ryman Auditorium performances, which were captured in the recent Jonathan Demme
-directed film Heart Of Gold
In the spring of 2007, Harris was saluted at the SXSW music conference where Warner Music's Rhino and Nonesuch labels honored her for having sold 15 million albums worldwide. Harris, who will be touring selected cities through the end of 2007, will perform at several festivals through the remainder of the year, including Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Newport Folk Festival, and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival. A complete list of all tour dates is available at www.emmylou.net
. Songbird: Rare Tracks And Forgotten Gems
Track Listing:Disc One
1. "Clocks" -- Alternate Version *
2. "The Angels Rejoiced Last Night" -- Gram Parsons
3. "The Old Country Baptizing" -- Gram Parsons & The Fallen Angels
4. "Coat Of Many Colors"
5. "For No One"
6. "Ooh Las Vegas"
7. "Satan's Jewel Crown"
8. "Tulsa Queen"
9. "My Songbird"
10. "Green Rolling Hills"
11. "One Paper Kid" -- with Willie Nelson
12. "Sorrow In The Wind"
13. "Rough And Rocky"
14. "Jordan" -- with Johnny Cash
15. "Darkest Hour Is Just Before Dawn"
16. "Ashes By Now" -- with Dr. John
17. "How High The Moon"
18. "Spanish Johnny" -- with Waylon Jennings
19. "The Last Cheaters Waltz"
20. "Racing In The Streets"
21. "Like An Old Fashioned Waltz"Disc Two
1. "The Sweetheart Of The Rodeo" -- with Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt,
Vince Gill & Gail Davies
2. "When I Was Yours"
3. "My Father's House"
4. "Bright Morning Stars"
5. "When He Calls"
6. "Lonely Street"
7. "Brand New Dance"
8. "Get Up John"
9. "If I Could Be There"
10. "Ballad Of A Runaway Horse"
11. "Going Back To Harlan"
12. "Sweet Old World"
13. "All My Tears" -- Live
14. "Prayer In Open D" -- Live
15. "Bang The Drum Slowly"
16. "Boy From Tupelo"
17. "Lost Unto This World"
18. "Man Is An Island"
19. "Cup Of Kindness"Disc Three
1. "Falling In A Deep Hole" *
2. "1917" -- Linda Ronstadt & Emmylou Harris
3. "Palms Of Victory" -- Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris *
4. "Softly And Tenderly" -- Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris *
5. "My Dear Companion" -- Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris
6. "Mary Danced With Soldiers" -- Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
7. "I Don't Love You Much Do I" -- Guy Clark
8. "All I Left Behind" *
9. "I Remember You" -- Steve Earle
10. "Golden Ring" -- with Linda Ronstadt and Anna & Kate McGarrigle
11. "Sonny" -- Emmylou Harris, Dolores Keane
, Mary Black
12. "In The Garden" *
13. "Love Still Remains"
14. "Snake Song"
15. "Hobo's Lullaby"
17. "Immigrant Eyes" *
18. "Juanita" -- Sheryl Crow & Emmylou Harris
19. "She" -- Pretenders & Emmylou Harris
20. "Sin City" -- Beck & Emmylou Harris
21. "Wheels" -- The Seldom SceneDisc Four
1. "Beyond The Blue" -- Emmylou Harris & Patty Griffin
2. "First In Line" -- Emmylou Harris & John Starling *
3. "Highway Of Heartache" -- Emmylou Harris & Carl Jackson *
4. "Alone And Forsaken" -- Emmylou Harris With Mark Knopfler & His Band
5. "Child Of Mine"
6. "Heaven Ain't Ready For You Yet"
7. "Wish We Were Back In Missouri"
8. "Mama's Hungry Eyes"
9. "Here We Are" -- George Jones With Emmylou Harris
10. "Waltz Across Texas Tonight" *
11. "Snowin' On Raton" *
12. "Gone" *
13. "Don't Let Our Love Die" *
14. "The Pearl" -- Live
15. "Wildwood Flower" -- Randy Scruggs With Emmylou Harris & Iris DeMent
16. "Love And Happiness" -- Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris
17. "When We're Gone, Long Gone" -- Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Dolly
1. "Together Again" -- with The Hot Band, featuring James Burton (1975)
2. "Making Believe" -- with The Hot Band, featuring Albert Lee (1977)
3. "Blue Kentucky Girl" -- from PBS' "Soundstage" (1978)
4. "Satan's Jewel Crown" -- from PBS' "Soundstage" (1978)
5. "Mr. Sandman" -- Promotional video (1981)
6. "I Don't Have To Crawl" -- Promotional video (1981)
7. "I Ain't Living Long Like This" -- with Spyboy (1998)
8. "Love Hurts" -- at the Grand Ole Opry, with Elvis Costello (2005)
9. "Imagine" -- from CMT's "Crossroads (200?)
10. PSA: Emmylou Harris On Animal Rescue
* Previously unreleased
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