Emmylou Harris To Deliver Her "Hard Bargain" LP on April 26th

Hard Bargain, the new album from musical icon Emmylou Harris, will be released April 26 on Nonesuch Records. The album follows Harris’s acclaimed 2008 release, All I Intended To Be , which received widespread acclaim—Newsweek called it an album that “shows that Harris is still the stalwart songbird at the top of the roost.”


Hard Bargain, which comprises 11 new songs by Harris as well as two covers, was produced by Jay Joyce (Cage the Elephant, Patty Griffin). See below for a complete track list. A deluxe edition of the album, which includes a DVD featuring six performances interspersed with interviews, will also be available.


In celebration of the release, Harris will embark on a series of special performances including a showcase at the 2011 SXSW Music and Media Conference on Thursday, March 17, at the Americana Music night. More details will be announced shortly. 


“We did the whole record in about a month, which is quite unusual for me. But I had all the material beforehand. I’d written 11 of the 13 songs and I really wanted to include two more by other writers,” Harris explains. “One of the covers is Ron Sexsmith’s 'Hard Bargain,' which I absolutely love. The other is by Jay Joyce, called 'Cross Yourself.'


“We did the whole thing with just three musicians, me being one of them. Jay, the producer, and Giles Reeves play everything between them. It’s not a stripped down record though; there’s only one song that’s a little bare bones. I’m basically a slow ballad-y person, but Jay managed to really move the songs up a bit. But they still have the same emotional feel.”


Two of the album’s songs look back at relationships that were central to Harris’ creative life. She wrote “Darlin’ Kate” for her close friend and collaborator Kate McGarrigle, who died last year of a rare form of cancer, while “The Road” casts its eye further back to the formative time Harris spent with country/rock icon Gram Parsons at the beginning of her career.


A 12-time Grammy winner and Billboard Century Award recipient, Emmylou Harris’s contribution as a singer and songwriter spans 40 years. She has recorded more than 25 albums and has lent her talents to countless fellow artists’ recordings. In recognition of her remarkable career, Harris was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008.


Hard Bargain tracklist:


1. The Road
2. Home Sweet Home
3. My Name Is Emmett Till
4. Goodnight Old World
5. New Orleans
6. Big Black Dog
7. Lonely Girl
8. Hard Bargain
9. Six White Cadillacs
10. The Ship on His Arm
11. Darlin’ Kate
12. Nobody
13. Cross Yourself


(Official Press Release, Courtesy of Nonesuch Records)


Chris Mateer is a freelance music writer living in Brooklyn, NY. He is the founder and writer of the Uprooted Music Revue, and has been contributing regularly to No Depression.

You can follow his posts here on No Depression, on his own blog: the Uprooted Music Revue at http://www.uprootedmusicrevue.com/, on Facebook, and on twitter.

Views: 350

Tags: Bargain, Emmylou, Hard, Harris, Nonesuch, Records

Comment by L A Johnson on March 3, 2011 at 10:45pm
One of Country's sacred cows, I never understood that, as with GP.
Comment by russ on March 4, 2011 at 4:15am
Chris, great post, thanks... also check out the Emmylou group
i started here recently.
Comment by Bob Ryan on March 4, 2011 at 11:47am

Not sure what the Andy Riggs comment is supposed to mean?


Comment by Jack Williams on March 4, 2011 at 12:35pm
I think he's saying he doesn't understand why Emmylou is so revered in country music.  Ditto, Gram Parsons.  No explanation, though. 
Comment by L A Johnson on March 4, 2011 at 2:45pm

It's just a personal view that the likes of EH & GP whilst elevated to a high plateau in music, their song writing contributions is virtually zero. Me being from the UK it maybe I just don't get the adoratin laid at the door of GP & EH - whilst other unknown songwriters such as Steve Forbert, Bob Delevante, Jeff Finlin, Donal Hinley & Cary Hudson barely get a mention. All have written some great songs - just a view. In fact Stephen Stills Manassas in 1972 stands up as one the finest rock,country records and puts all GP's output in the shade.

Comment by Will James on March 4, 2011 at 3:06pm

That's ok, we don't understand "whilst."

Comment by chris sweeney on March 4, 2011 at 8:49pm

Well written, Chris. I happen to think that Emmylou hasn't been praised enough for her contributions.

While she has done a lot more writing in recent years, I always felt that she was / is a great interpretor of songs. I'm looking forward to Hard Bargain.

Comment by Fran E. on March 4, 2011 at 9:41pm
Here's a clue, Andy: it's Emmylou's singing that has elevated her to such a high plateau. Whether you like it or not, she has a unique voice and nobody else sounds quite like her. Since you're from the UK, I'd compare her to artists like Norma Waterson and June Tabor - both highly respected singers with unique voices, but what have either of them written? Does that make their respective contributions to roots music any less significant? I don't think so.
Comment by Jack Williams on March 5, 2011 at 9:07am

As to Mr. Parsons, seems to me he did reasonably well in the songwriting department.  For example, he's a co-writer on every song on Gilded Palace of Sin except for the two soul covers.  I recently read a quote by Merle Haggard who, while criticizing his lifestyle and calling him a "punk," allowed that Gram was a "good writer."   Any kind of positive remark from Merle with respect to songwriting is pretty impressive.


Good to see Steve Forbert in your list, as he's an old favorite of mine.  I'd say he falls a little more under the "forgotten" category, as he did have some mainstream exposure in the late '70s and early '80s (e.g., Romeo's Tune made the pop Top 20 in US, I think).   I saw him many times during the '90s and the early oughts.  He's great to see live.

Comment by Bob Kealing on March 6, 2011 at 10:14am
Well Andy, your fellow Brit Keith Richards called Gram and John Lennon the two purest musicians he knew, and said Gram"wrote great songs."  Emmylou has shown great respect to groundbreaking musicians like the Louvins and has always been a unifying force among the genres. So how about a little credit where it's due? I also think the term "sacred cow" is disrespectful and pejorative when referring to Emmylou.  I'm not saying the songwriters you mentioned don't deserve more recognition, to that list I would add the equally groundbreaking Gene Clark, but those you mentioned are not visionaries as Parsons was. It's terribly sad Parsons never made it out of the drug-addled early 70s to have a third and fourth act in his career and claim his rightful place as a founder of the alt-country genre(or whatever bloody label you want to put on it).


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Created by No Depression Feb 17, 2009 at 9:06pm. Last updated by No Depression Sep 24, 2012.