Tag Archives: Emmylou Harris

Daily Top Five: Gender Swap

Merle Haggard Willie Nelson Pancho & LeftySome of the most interesting country covers are ones where the artist doing the cover is of a different gender than the artist that recorded the original.

What are your five favorite “gender swap” covers?

Here’s my list:

  1. Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson, “Pancho & Lefty” (Original Artist: Emmylou Harris)
  2. Sammi Smith, “Help Me Make it Through the Night” (Kris Kristofferson)
  3. Patty Loveless, “When the Fallen Angels Fly” (Billy Joe Shaver)
  4. Merle Haggard, “No Time to Cry” (Iris Dement)
  5. Reba McEntire, “Ring on Her Finger, Time on Her Hands” (Lee Greenwood)

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Daily Top Five: Better With Time

Willie NelsonAs we grow older, our tastes change and some would even say that they mature. Such is the case with me, as you’ll see in the list below. There was a time when I did not like these artists (gasp!) and a time when I didn’t like these songs. However, something made them grow on me to the point that I absolutely love them now.

Which artists and songs have grown on you over time?

Here are my lists:

Artists:

  1. Willie Nelson
  2. Dwight Yoakam
  3. Emmylou Harris
  4. Miranda Lambert
  5. Sturgill Simpson

Songs:

  1. Josh Turner, “Another Try”
  2. Vince Gill, “Go Rest High on that Mountain”
  3. Dierks Bentley, “What Was I Thinking”
  4.  George Strait, “Troubadour
  5. Randy Travis, “Before You Kill Us All”

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You Can’t Play Two Women Back to Back

How could you ever tell them apart?

Thank goodness we have the diversity and variety of male voices in country music to keep things fresh.

With deep gratitude to country music programmers for knowing what we really want.   Thanks to your leadership, the genre is so much richer with talent today than it was in 1993.

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Daily Top Five: Rodney Crowell

rodney-crowellToday’s Daily Top Five is the promised Rodney Crowell edition.

He’s such a legendary songwriter that I’m putting up three Top Fives – albums, singles, and songs written by him that were recorded by others!

Share yours in the comments.  Here are my lists:

Albums

  1. The Outsider
  2. Fate’s Right Hand
  3. The Houston Kid
  4. Tarpaper Sky
  5. Ain’t Living Long Like This

Continue reading

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Daily Top Five: Emmylou Harris

"All For The Hall" Benefit / 2010Tomorrow, Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell release their second collaborative album, The Travelin’ Kind.   They waited almost four decades to finally do their first album together, 2013’s Grammy-winning Old Yellow Moon.   Kinda cool that we’re getting another album already.

Today, we’re picking our Top Five Albums and Singles of Emmylou Harris.  Check back tomorrow for the Rodney Crowell edition!

Here are my top fives:

Albums

  1. Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town
  2. Roses in the Snow
  3. Cowgirl’s Prayer
  4. Wrecking Ball
  5. Stumble Into Grace

Singles

  1. Beneath Still Waters
  2. Easy From Now On
  3. To Daddy
  4. The Boxer
  5. I Don’t Have to Crawl

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Daily Double Top Five: Best & Worst Cover Songs

Johnny Cash American RecordingsAgain, we play catch up with a daily double top five, and this one focuses on cover songs.

So many great songs have been re-recorded over time.  Sometimes the new versions are so good that you discover something new about the original.  Other times, the new takes are so bad that you just wish they’d left well enough alone.

So today we ask: What do you think are the best and the worst cover songs?

For my five best, I’m picking versions that I enjoyed so much more than the originals that I rarely listen to the first versions anymore.  But you don’t have to do that!

Original artists are in parentheses after each pick.

Five Best Cover Songs

  1. Emmylou Harris, “The Boxer” (Simon & Garfunkel)
  2. Johnny Cash, “Why Me Lord”  (Kris Kristofferson)
  3. Reba McEntire, “Sweet Music Man” (Kenny Rogers)
  4. Alison Krauss, “Ghost in This House” (Shenandoah)
  5. Dwight Yoakam, “Wichita Lineman” (Glen Campbell)

Five Worst Cover Songs

  1. David Kersh, “Wonderful Tonight” (Eric Clapton)
  2. Brooks & Dunn, “Missing You” (John Waite)
  3. Rascal Flatts, “Revolution” (The Beatles)
  4. Gretchen Peters, “Sunday Morning Coming Down” (Johnny Cash)
  5. Willie Nelson, “Time After Time” (Cyndi Lauper)

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Daily Double Top Five: Best Duets and Harmony Vocals

Porter Dolly Just Between You and MeOnce again, technical difficulties derailed yesterday’s Daily Top Five.  So we’re doubling down today.

Ever notice how the Vocal Event categories at country award shows honor harmony vocals as much as they do real, full-fledged duets?  The spiritual godfather of all of this is “You and I”, the not quite duet by Eddie Rabbitt and Crystal Gayle, “You and I.”  But the modern trend goes back to the award-sweeping “It’s Your Love”, the not quite duet by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.

So for today’s Daily Double Top Fives, we’re asking you to make the distinction that the award shows don’t.  What are your favorite five duets, which feature two artists actually trading off lines, and what are your favorite five “all-star” harmony vocals?

Here are mine:

Top Five Duets

  1. Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton, “The Last Thing on My Mind”
  2. Loretta Lynn & Conway Twitty, “After the Fire is Gone”
  3. Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton, “You Can’t Make Old Friends”
  4. Suzy Bogguss & Billy Dean, “Something Up My Sleeve”
  5. Brad Paisley & Alison Krauss, “Whiskey Lullaby”

Top Five Harmony Vocals

  1. Linda Ronstadt with Emmylou Harris, “I Can’t Help it (If I’m Still in Love with You)”
  2. Tim McGraw with Faith Hill, “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s”
  3. Patty Loveless with George Jones, “You Don’t Seem to Miss Me”
  4. Vince Gill with Patty Loveless, “When I Call Your Name”
  5. Trisha Yearwood with Emmylou Harris, “Woman Walk the Line”

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Daily Top Five: Favorite Debut Albums

Clint Black Killin' TimeAs we’re prepping our 1993 lists, there have been many debut albums in consideration.   That year brought the first studio sets from big stars  like Tracy Byrd, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw,  Shania Twain, and Clay Walker.    Also, sentimental favorites of attentive listeners, like Brother Phelps. Shawn Camp, Bobbie Cryner, Lisa Stewart,  and Lari White also released their first discs.

Debut albums aren’t always great. Sometimes the artistic voice just isn’t there yet.   But some new artists knock it out of the park the first time out.

Today we ask:  What are your Top Five Debut Albums?

Here’s my list:

  1. Kim Richey, Kim Richey
  2. Clint Black, Killin’ Time
  3. Randy Travis, Storms of Life
  4. Bobbie Cryner, Bobbie Cryner
  5. Emmylou Harris, Pieces of the Sky

 

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Daily Top Five: Favorite Songs by Your Favorite Songwriter

Guy ClarkThere’s a cool Guy Clark documentary Kickstarter campaign happening right now that I encourage country music lovers to check out and, perhaps, make a pledge toward. Long time publicist, biographer and Guy Clark champion, Tamara Saviano, is in the process of producing and directing a documentary on Clark, a revered songwriter in country music.

The campaign is already almost fully funded, which is a testament to the wide and strong impact of Clark. However, while they’ve almost raised the initial funds, any extra money on top of that modest goal will only allow the documentary to be even better than it already promises to be, not to mention the opportunities for various perks that are offered to backers of the project.

After reading about and pledging to this campaign, I’ve been going down a Guy Clark Rabbit hole for the last couple of days, which has included listening to songs written by Clark that others have recorded and listening to his own excellent albums.

Luminaries such as Vince Gill, Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, Jerry Jeff Walker, Ricky Skaggs, Bobby Bare, John Conlee, The Highwaymen, Rosanne Cash, Kathy Mattea, Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley , Ashley Monroe and Kenny Chesney, among many others, have been mentored by and have recorded Guy Clark songs.

With that said, today’s Daily Top Five is : What are your five favorite songs written and/or recorded by one of your favorite songwriters.

Since Guy Clark is one of my favorite songwriters, here are my top favorite songs of his:

1. Guy Clark & Emmylou Harris, “I Don’t Love You Much Do I”

2. Rodney Crowell, “She’s Crazy for Leaving”

3. Jerry Jeff Walker, “L.A. Freeway”

4. The Highwaymen, “Desperados Waiting for a Train”

5. Kathy Mattea, “The Cape”

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Daily Top Five: Albums You’re Most Looking Forward to Purchasing

Chris Stapleton TravellerI’ve listened to this phenomenal Chris Stapleton performance from last night’s Late Night with David Letterman at least 8 times so far today. As I watched it last night, I was extremely proud to be a country music fan. If Stapleton represented what mainstream country music predominantly sounded like these days, I could proudly declare that I was a country music fan without all of the clarifications that I currently have to make.

Stapleton’s new album, Traveler, will finally be released on May 5, which can’t come fast enough. So, as a Part 2 to last night’s Daily Top Five discussion of our five most recent music purchases, tonight we’ll ask you what you hope or expect your next five music purchases will be.

Since I’ve already preordered the Stapleton album, these are the top five albums that I’m looking forward to purchasing (in release date order).

1. Alabama Shakes, Sound and Color

2. Shelby Lynne, I Can’t Imagine

3. Zac Brown Band, Jekyll + Hyde

4. Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, The Traveling Kind

5. Darrell Scott, Ten

What albums are you most looking forward to?

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