Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wrecking Ball - a concert review

picture courtesy of

Don't panic!! The post is not about Miley Cyrus (or food come to think of it - hey, every once and a while I'm allowed to go off the food-beaten track) - although I maintain to anyone who listens that despite the pain in the ass "personality" issues, and this insane need to share her tongue with the world, the girl can sing!

Anyway, this post is really all about the almighty, amazing, and sadly underrated country/folk singer Emmylou Harris. Having had the opportunity to hear her sing the songs from her landmark album "Wrecking Ball" at Massey Hall a few weeks ago, what's astounding me is that it's STILL resonating. I can't stop thinking about what a great concert it was. She was joined onstage by three other musicians including the producer of the album and her good friend - the amazing Daniel Lanois, and it was an electrifying concert. From the title track to the ethereal "Where will I be?", for two hours she sang all 12 tracks from the albums, plus a few songs that she sang when she was in TRIO - a project with fellow country singers and friends Dolly Parton and Linda Rondstadt (another great album to check out!).
I'm skirting the edge of babbling about this concert and this artist, but I can't help it - it truly was a terrific concert.

Now I've never approached the realm of concert reviews before in any of my previous blog postings. Why? Mostly because I haven't been to a concert in years! Having the opportunity to hear Emmylou Harris singing live made me realize just how much I was missing out from the live music scene, and in particular, how amazing and life-changing a good concert can be. Now before we all roll our eyes collectively at that last statement, when I say life-changing, I'm not saying it means run to your boss and yell "Screw you, I quit - I'm going to sing forever and have audiences love me!!", or "I'm becoming a roadie for Emmylou Harris", both scenarios which a person is free to do of course. It just meant that live vocals from certain artists can really have an effect on you. Either it can make you deeply appreciate the talent, drive and hard work that goes into honing their "craft", or it can make you run away screaming, praying that you'll never have to hear from them again (sidenote: that happened to me once. With apologies to the band I'm using as my example, but back in the 90s I went to see the band Live. I went to the concert loving the band - I left thinking to myself I'm going to burn every single cd of this band and to this day, I've never heard or listened to another song from them. Sad eh?).

Emmylou was a somewhat new artist for me - meaning I had heard of her, but wasn't a huge fan enough to want to see her sing live or buy her records. My good friend Brian was the catalyst that got me moving not only to see her, but to check out more of her work. It must be said that what's she has accomplished over the years since her start in the early 70s is impressive and extensive. This current tour is in support of her previous released 1995 album Wrecking Ball, and a deluxe version has been re-issued to conincide with the reunion tour of Emmylou and Daniel Lanois, and you can click here for a preview.

Emmylou mentioned on stage that she's an admitted weirdo, and I LOVED her for that confession. Hey, weirdo's of a feather right? Throw in an incredibly talented singer-songwriter, and she has earned a fan for life.

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