Craig Cummings Music

Emmylou and Rodney Part 2

Emmylou and Rodney

Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell brought their Old Yellow Moon tour to the Strathmore Music Center in Bethesda, Maryland last evening. Yesterday, I wrote about them performing together again after many years. This post is just a quick review of last night’s show.

To put it simply, this was one of the best concerts I’ve seem in some time. The artists’ incredible taste and good sense in music was evident from their choice of songs (3 Gram Parsons tunes and one from Townes Van Zandt for starters), to their decision to put together a touring band that was the reincarnation of their 1970s collaboration, The Hot Band. The current version includes guitarist Jedd Hughes who at several points was channeling James Burton in a way that few would even attempt.

Emmylou and Rodney’s voices are a match made in heaven. From their decision to revist Van Zandt’s Pancho and Lefty to their soaring vocals on Roger Miller’s country shuffle Invitation To The Blues, the E&R show reminded us of what we’ve been missing all these years. While it’s certainly true that Emmylou can make pretty much anyone sound better, Rodney showed his own vocal chops throughout the show, and he reminded us all, with songs like Till I Gain Control Again and I’m Still Learning How To Fly, that he has been one of the finest songwriters in Country/Americana music for many years. If you’re not sure about this, just check out his 2008 solo release, Sex and Gasoline.

I suppose it’s hard to say how long their current collaboration will last. So, if you have a chance to see them when they come your way, don’t miss the show. I’m certainly hoping they come back this way.


Marty Stuart
September 7, 2009, 7:49 pm
Filed under: Musical Notes | Tags: , , ,

Last night I had a front row table at the Ram’s Head Live in Annapolis, Maryland for the evening show of Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives. It was an all acoustic show that featured Marty’s mandolin wizardry, the guitar prowess of “Cousin” Kenny Vaughn, and otherworldly vocals from the whole band. Marty’s set reflected his experiences playing country, bluegrass, gospel, and honkey tonk music. My personal favorite of the night was a version of Tempted from the album of the same name. Also notable was the set closer – Badlands.

If Marty and his band come to your town, don’t miss them. This was country music at its best – sometimes winsome, sometimes funny, always uplifting, and without the hokey lyrics and formulaic approach often found in contemporary country music. Marty represents all that is good about American music.

Which Song Is Your Favorite?
April 29, 2009, 6:39 am
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I’m always curious to know which of my songs listeners like the most – and why. I invite all blog readers to visit my website (click on my website link on the left side of the page or on my myspace link) and then to respond on this blog site by telling me which of the songs on my latest CD release you enjoy the most and why. Understanding the why may help me write better songs in the future. Happy listening!