Hear Emmylou Harris's "Hard Bargain" Streaming in Its Entirety as NPR First Listen
Emmylou Harris's new album Hard Bargain is out on April 26, and NPR has chosen it as this week's First Listen; from now until release day, you can stream the album in full at npr.org. NPR's Rita Houston says that Harris brings "her serene grace and light touch" and her "career-long habit of defying genres and boundaries," to the 13 tracks, 11 of which were penned by Harris.
Houston highlights the album's first track, "The Road," a "fond remembrance" of Harris's friendship and musical partnership with Gram Parsons, as well as the song "Darlin' Kate," Harris's "goodbye letter" to friend Kate McGarrigle. Read more about the album and listen until release day at npr.org.
A feature about Harris was in the UK’s Independent on Sunday, in which writer Fiona Sturges interviews her about her 40-year career. Sturges also touches on Harris's genre-defying work, and in the interview, Harris herself says "I've been bleeding outside the lines for some time...I like to think I have my own category by now. I once said that I smoked country music but I didn't inhale." They discuss her relationship with Gram Parsons, her mentor, whom she credits as "kick-starting" her career: "It's important to acknowledge the door that you came through. For me, that door was Gram." Read the full interview at independent.co.uk.
Friday, February 24, 2017Friday, February 24, 2017
Freedom Highway, Rhiannon Giddens' follow-up to her highly praised solo debut album, Tomorrow Is My Turn, is out now. It's a "rich collection," says NPR. "[H]ope comes back to life in Giddens' music." Pitchfork exclaims: "Rhiannon Giddens emerges as a peerless and powerful voice in roots music on her second solo album." The AP calls it "a rich tapestry with threads of blues, folk, gospel, soul, country and jazz ... rootsy and relevant, delivered with crystal-clear emotion and understated musical skill." Uncut names this "remarkably wise and timely new album" its Album of the Month. It earns four stars in American Songwriter, Irish Times ("a record for and of our times"), Observer, and Guardian, which calls it a "powerful and timely set."
Friday, February 10, 2017Friday, February 10, 2017
Rhiannon Giddens's five-song EP Factory Girl, first released on vinyl and digitally in late 2015, is now available on CD for the first time. The EP, which is up for Grammy Awards for Best American Roots Performance and Best Folk Album, is culled from the T Bone Burnett–produced sessions that yielded Giddens's acclaimed solo debut album, Tomorrow Is My Turn. "It's a clutch of tunes that work together like the cards in a winning poker hand," the New York Times says of Factory Girl. "Her accompaniment … points to an ageless gold standard for American roots music." "Deftly curated, gorgeously sung," says NPR, "this EP is America." Her new album, Freedom Highway, is due February 24.