Wednesday, September 19, 2007

If I could only listen to one artist...

If they passed a law that said that I could only listen to one recording artist for the rest of my life and that I had to choose that person on the spot - I would answer "Emmylou Harris" without even thinking.

I enjoy so many other singer/songwriters but none appeals to me more broadly than Emmylou. I always have one of her Cd's in the car and several of her albums on my i-Pod. I almost always include at least one of her tunes on every play list I create.

I have seen her in concert a few times and each performance has been mesmerizing.

Emmylou Harris is one of the leading figures in the Americana music (old timey, bluegrass, roots) movement beginning in the 1990's and continuing through today in the recent independent music explosion.

Her ethereal voice and her poingant lyrics combined - can bring about tears and heartfelt relief in the same song.

One of my favorites songs of hers is Prayer in Open D

There's a valley of sorrow in my soul
Where every night I hear the thunder roll
Like the sound of a distant gun
Over all the damage I have done


And the shadows filling up this land
Are the ones I built with my own hand
There is no comfort from the cold
Of this valley of sorrow in my soul


There's a river of darkness in my blood
And through every vein I feel the flood
I can find no bridge for me to cross
No way to bring back what is lost
Into the night it soon will sweep
Down where all my grievances I keep
But it won't wash away the years
Or one single hard and bitter tear


And the Rock of Ages I have known
Is a weariness down in the bone
I use to ride it like a rolling stone
Now just carry it alone


There's a highway risin' from my dreams
Deep in the heart I know it gleams
For I have seen it stretching wide
Clear across to the other side
Beyond the river and the flood
And the valley where for so long I've stood
With the Rock of Ages in my bones
Someday I know it will lead me home

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