A full house greeted Emmylou Harris and her Red Dirt Boys at the Palais Theatre last night, and they performed a show to treasure and remember for years to come.
Emmylou and band were in spectacular form and generously gave of their talent and time for a solid two hours.
Appropriately enough Emmylou started the show with the song My Songbird, emerging solo, to be joined by the band a few minutes into the song. There was no doubt, even at that juncture, that we were in for a great show.
She followed that up with a song from her latest record Hard Bargain the stirring Six White Cadillacs, then performed a cover of Orphan Girl a wonderful, early Gillian Welch song which Emmylou Harris included on her 1995 album Wrecking Ball. She sang two another songs from that record later on, Bob Dylan’s Every Grain Of Sand and Julie Miller’s All My Tears.
In all, the band performed 25 songs non stop over two hours, with a mix of ballads and more upbeat country numbers – an exhilarating set list of unusual songs: unusual in the sense that they were not standard fare.
The band was first class as you’d expect and was composed of Ricky Simpkins on mandolin and violin, Will Kimbrough on guitar and mandolin, Chris Donohue on bass (both electric and upright), Phil Madiera on keyboards and accordion and Bryan Owings on drums. Emmylou played an acoustic Gibson guitar.
As I’m feeling bleary after the late night – the concert finished at 10.50pm and it took an hour to get home – I’ll keep this short.
Suffice to say, Emmylou Harris and her Red Dirt Boys were a quality act and it was a rare pleasure to see them live in concert. Worth every penny of the ticket price and then some.
I had a good seat in Row D of the Orchestra section, a bit to the side, but excellent for viewing the show. I chanced a few photos at the end of the show and they’re not perfect, but sort of OK considering the circumstances and heads in the way.
( update: Thanks to Red Dirt Boy for completing the list )
1. My Songbird
2. Six White Cadillacs
3. Orphan Girl (Gillian Welch
4. Making Believe
5. Hello Stranger (The Carter Family)
7. Hickory Wind (Gram Parsons)
8. Green Pastures
10. My Name Is Emmett Till
11. Get Up John
12. Red Dirt Girl
13. Two More Bottles
14. Luxury Liner
15. Prayer In Open D
16. Darlin’ Kate
17. Every Grain Of Sand (Bob Dylan)
18. All My Tears (Julie Miller)
19. Bright Morning Stars
20. Ship On His Arm
21. The Pearl
22. Together Again
23. Born To Run
- Old Five And Dimers Like Me (Billy Joe Shaver)
- Pancho And Lefty (Townes Van Zandt)