Emmylou Harris Came In Like A ‘Wrecking Ball’

Emmylou Harris talks about album

Have you heard of Wrecking Ball? No, it’s not the single by Miley Cyrus, but it is the album by legend Emmylou Harris. The 1995 album will be revisited with a special performance as Emmylou Harris and producer-collaborator Daniel Lanois hit the stage to play Wiltern in support of the album’s reissue.

For her chosen genre, which is country music, Emmylou Harris has torn down walls and broke down barriers and bended the genre with her 1995 album. Harris, who’s now 67-years-old opened up about Wrecking Ball to the LA Times. “This album’s obviously very special to me.”

As stated, Harris will perform in support of the reissue of the album. Of her longtime collaborator Daniel Lanois.

“Daniel and I have done shows together in the last few years — mainly benefits — and we just love playing those songs. It shows our affection for this record that we’ll go to the trouble of doing the reissue and touring.”

Wrecking Ball, which is out on April 8, is getting a new kind of momentum. In 1995, it was a different kind of momentum — one that was more along the lines of word of mouth:

“We didn’t tour it a lot when it first came out in ’95, so a lot of people didn’t know about it then. But one person would tell another person, and it’s nice when it happens that way on its own.”

Described as a rich mix of country, folk, gospel, and blues, at the time the country album was considered an experimental compilation, which alienated strong country fans. Prior to Emmylou Harris’ Wrecking Ball album, she had strong country roots with her 1975 debut album Pieces of the Sky which covered Merle Haggard’s “The Bottle Let Me Down, “and Dolly Parton’s “Coat of Many Colors.”

Of what drew her to Daniel Lanois’ work, Harris had this to say:

“It was actually his recording ‘Acadie,’ his first solo record, and what he did with Dylan on ‘Oh Mercy’ [in 1989], which brought me roaring back to Dylan. That record moved me so much — I loved the production, I loved the son.”

Harris continued to explain the collaboration:

“From the very first song, ‘All My Tears,’ the sound of what was being played around me, all of a sudden I came to life. It was almost as if I’d been sleeping and I woke up. an’s turbulent rhythms and the sounds that came from a very small group of musicians in that small room at Woodland, I knew something magical was happening. All I had to do was sing.”

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