In 2015 on a cold, January night in Washington DC, friends, fans, and some country music royalty came together at DAR Constitution Hall to play the songs of Emmylou Harris. She is known to music lovers as not only a fine songwriter, band leader and singer, but a tastemaker who has covered songwriters like Gillian Welch and Lucinda Williams bringing them to prominence. On display was the love of her fellow musicians of her as a person, but also how she influence them. Rodney Crowell, who as lead guitarist turned successful songwriter and singer came of age as a member of Harris’s Hot Band, sings “You’re Still On My Mind.” In the tribute Alison Krauss sings “Til I Gain Control Again”. This Rodney Crowell song has been covered by many, but it was Harris that first sang it in 1975.
This sense of back and forth between Emmylou Harris, songwriters and musicians, is brought forth over and over during the course of an evening. Buddy Miller and Don Was are part of the house band. Other favorites like Sara Watkins and Sam Bush play on most tracks.
Not only does this tribute cover the early years with Graham Parsons, and the Hot Band, but some of the eras where Emmylou Harris “reinvents” herself. She won a Grammy for her album that she did with Daniel Lanois, Wrecking Ball. She also did an album with Mark Knopfler, “All the Roadrunning.”
Most of the music during this evening is played and sung by others. WNRN has been playing a lesser known song from Wrecking Ball, “Blackhawk,” featuring her along with Daniel Lanois from the tribute, The Life and Songs of Emmylou Harris.