Every so often, there’s an unreleased recording that really is a gem. That term “gem” gets thrown around a lot, but with the release of Emmylou Harris and the Nash Ramblers: Ramble in Music City, it’s proven true.
I make no bones about it, I am a huge Emmylou Harris fan. One of my favorite albums is the Live at the Ryman album. I once saw a Nash Rambler reunion at the Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival in Guthrie, OK hosted by Byron Berline. Her connection with Gram Parson at the beginning of her career is a huge influence. This led to her connection to the Louvin Brothers. These foundations in music prove all roads lead back to Emmylou for me. She’s one of the pillars of country music and a Country Music Hall of Famer. It should be noted that we had a beloved dog named Emmylou that lived a beautiful 19 years.
A Trip Back in Time
This album takes listeners back in time 30 years ago to the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. From the opening number of Bill Monroe’s classic Roses in the Snow to the last note of Boulder to Birmingham, listeners are kept on the edge of their seat. Classic tunes and covers include The Boxer (Paul Simon), Two More Bottles of Wine (Delbert McClinton), If I Needed You (Townes Van Zandt), and Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight Daylight (Rodney Crowell). My favorite cut on the album is, not surprisingly, If I Could Only Win Your Love a Louvin Brothers classic. Having known Charlie Louvin personally, this cut always gets to me, and Emmylou does a phenomenal version of it.
The Nash Ramblers were/are one awesome ensemble of outstanding musicians. This iteration featured virtuoso Sam Bush (fiddle, mandolin, vocals), everyone’s bluegrass go to the late Roy Huskey Jr. (bass), Larry Atamanuik (drums), Al Perkins (dobro, banjo, vocals), and Jon Randall Stewart (acoustic guitar, mandolin, vocals). This group was a perfect transition for Emmylou from the Hot Band. Listeners will enjoy this trip back in time and at the same time feel the connection across the years of the music world.
Give this album a listen. It will make you smile and also make you remember a time when we took live music for granted. The power in the songs of this Find of the Year: Emmylou Harris & the Nash Ramblers will transform how and what you are listening to today.