American music legend, Emmylou Harris, performs at the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Indiana Wednesday, July 13 at 7:30 pm. Tickets for this Indianapolis music event range from $50.00 to $90.00. She made her name in country music, but her style transcends genre, as she reaches for a new generation of listeners. Don’t miss Emmylou Harris while she is in Indianapolis.
Harris gained notoriety after she was introduced to Gram Parsons in 1971. Parsons, who was looking for a new female vocalist for his first solo album, GP, hired Harris to sing with him. What started as a professional collaboration soon turned into a good old fashion country love story, with a celebrity couple that would put “Brangelina” to shame. The pair collaborated on one other album that year, before Parsons died of an accidental drug overdose in 1973.
Though their love affair was short lived, Parsons and Harris’ relationship meant a great deal to country music history. Not only did Parsons help form Harris’ musical identity by introducing her to artists like The Louvin Brothers, the tragedy of his death would appear in many of Harris’ self-written songs, helping to shape her voice as a songwriter.
Now Harris is one of the most celebrated female singer-songwriters from that period of country and country rock music. The winner of twelve Grammy Awards, Harris has played with fellow legends like Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton, Mark Knopfler, Guy Clark, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Johnny Cash, Tammy Wynette, The Chieftains, Lyle Lovett and Neil Young. In her career that now spans four decades, Harris has released 26 studio albums, three live albums and 11 compilation albums.
Now Harris is loved for her eloquently straightforward songwriting as well as her incomparably expressive singing. Her latest album On Hard Bargain offers eleven original tracks with an autobiographical flair. The record includes songs that remember her mentor Gram Parsons, as well as the late singer songwriter and friend Kate McGarrigle. In the song “My Name is Emmet Till,” Harris recounts the violent civil rights era news story in a heartbreakingly plain-spoken narrative from the murder victim’s perspective. Her intimate song-story technique continues with tracks like “Big Black Dog” and “Goodnight Old World.”
In her music, Harris exhibits incredible maturity: the kind of attitude and poise that can only come from forty years in the industry. Through it all, Harris is most commended for staying true to the voice she found so many years ago under the tutelage of Gram Parsons. “I think you get to a certain point in your life,” says Harris, “where you gaze back over the years and it’s sort of a celebration or a thank-you for the fact that you cross paths with people who change you forever. Certainly Gram did that; I did come down walking in his shoes and trying to carry on for him. So I really just told that story the way I see it in my mind, the brief time we had and how I couldn’t imagine that Gram wouldn’t be around forever. Life goes on and unfolds before you, but those people and those events that change you forever are always with you. It was an important event that determined the trajectory of my life, and more than anything, of my work.”
Catch Emmylou Harris live at the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts this Wednesday, July 13. Before the show, grab dinner from any of these Indianapolis restaurants or Carmel restaurants. Afterward, discuss the power Harris retains in her music over drinks at any of these Carmel bars or Indianapolis bars.
Wednesday, July 13 at 7:30 pm
The Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts
355 City Center Drive
Carmel, IN 46032