Red Dirt Girl

Red Dirt Girl

4.4 7
by Emmylou Harris
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

After building a legendary three-decade career with her distinctive interpretations of material by the most thoughtful songwriters of country, folk, and pop, seminal alt-country icon Emmylou Harris set herself a new challenge: She decided to write the songs herself. The result is Red Dirt Girl, a stunning collection of self-penned tunes that ranks with Harris's

Overview

After building a legendary three-decade career with her distinctive interpretations of material by the most thoughtful songwriters of country, folk, and pop, seminal alt-country icon Emmylou Harris set herself a new challenge: She decided to write the songs herself. The result is Red Dirt Girl, a stunning collection of self-penned tunes that ranks with Harris's best work. The album's title track is a soulful evocation of the south, the 1960s, and the collisions between dreams and reality. "Michelangelo" paints a vivid portrait of a searcher framed in a haunting melody and evocative images of pain and redemption, while "Bang the Drum Slowly" is a stately, wistful elegy to Harris's late father and the questions she never asked him. The artist bring things full circle on the album's closing cut, "Boy from Tupelo," which includes lyrical and melodic references to her 1985 tune "Sweetheart of the Rodeo." The 12-song disc's lone cover is Patty Griffin's "One Big Love," whose danceable pop groove meshes surprisingly well with the album's more bittersweet material. Griffin also makes a guest appearance on the album, along with Bruce Springsteen, Patti Scialfa, Buddy and Julie Miller, and Dave Matthews, who sings a poignant duet with Emmylou on "My Antonia."

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Zac Johnson
On her 29th album, Emmylou Harris continues the evolution from innocent folkie to present day renaissance woman. Alternately sparse and lush, Red Dirt Girl can be seen as a companion piece to 1995's Wrecking Ball with the production credits going to Malcom Burn (who previously worked with Harris engineering and mixing Wrecking Ball). Here, drum loops and middle eastern melodies nestle in comfortably next to warm guitar work and Harris' gently wavering voice. Her extensive guest work on dozens and dozens of recent releases (showing up on albums by everyone from Guy Clark to Midnight Oil) pays off with great help from Bruce Springsteen, Patti Scialfa, Buddy and Julie Miller, Guy Clark, Kate McGarrigle, and even alt-rock upstarts Dave Matthews and Luscious Jackson's Jill Cunniff. The diverse production only adds to Harris' earthy songwriting, adding interest to what could otherwise be lulls during the more subdued songs, and really showcases the understated lyrics that the singer has slowly become recognized for. The teary dirge "Bang the Drum Slowly" written for her father (who died in 1993) wrings with emotion and ethereal atmosphere, while "J'ai Fait Tout" (co-written with Cunniff) is an upbeat and jangly pop song, complete with hip-shakin' tambourine. While this is a big departure from her rootsy '70s releases like Blue Kentucky Girl and Roses in the Snow, it still burns with an honest intensity and clear voice that Harris is known for 20 years later.
Entertainment Weekly - Beth Johnson
Full of love in all its aching permutations ­ unrealized, abandoned, unspoken ­ Girl shimmers with poetic imagery and soul.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/12/2000
Label:
Nonesuch
UPC:
0075597961621
catalogNumber:
79616
Rank:
34367

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Emmylou Harris   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Guitar (Electric Baritone)
Bruce Springsteen   Vocal Harmony
Julie Miller   Vocal Harmony
Patti Scialfa   Vocals
Malcolm Burn   Bass,Guitar,Piano,Electric Guitar,Tambourine,12-string Guitar,fender rhodes
Rene Coman   Track Performer
Patty Griffin   Vocal Harmony
Ethan Johns   Acoustic Guitar,Drums,Electric Guitar,Ebo,Mandocello,Omnichord
Darryl Johnson   Bass,Percussion,Drums,Electric Guitar,bass pedals,Guitar (Electric Baritone),Vocal Harmony
Buddy Miller   Pedal Steel Guitar,Electric Guitar,Mando
Carlo Nuccio   Drums
Jim Watts   fender rhodes
Jill Cunniff   Bass,Electric Guitar,Vocal Harmony
Kate McGarrigle   Piano,Accordion,Vocal Harmony
John Deaderick   fender rhodes

Technical Credits

Malcolm Burn   Producer,Contributor,drum programming
Jim Watts   Engineer

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Red Dirt Girl 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Red Dirt Girl is awesome--I'm now listening to it for the second time and may listen to it again immediately. Her voice is as great as ever, the lyrics are poignant, and the production is perfect. Even Dave Mathews sounds good on this album.
Guest More than 1 year ago
She is still the brightest of the stars. I don't know how she does it but I am thankful that she does. The voice only seems to grow in character and luminescence. She is one artist that never disappoints.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As usual, another great album. this Lady can clear her throat and win awards. I love her and I love her music. BRAVO!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
RED DIRT GIRL IS GREAT. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT TO ANY AND ALL. THE LADYS VOICE AND LOOKS ARE JUST LIKE A GOOD SCOTCH ''AGED TO PERFECTION'' !!!!! I HAVE ENJOYED THIS FINE LADY EVER SINCE I HEARD THAT SWEET SOPRANO VOICE SINGING ''QUEEN OF THE SILVER DOLLAR'' WAY BACK IN THE EARLY 70''s
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've always loved her music but never bought any till now. This is such a great CD. I've played it over and over and it's truly a bargain with every track being my favorite! I never get tired of listening to this. I guess this is a departure from her early stuff but if that is true it only proves that she is like a fine wine in that she just keeps getting better and isn't afraid to try new things. But really, could Emmylou ever sing a bad song? Yes, I suppose she could but somehow she would make it great. Her duet with Dave Matthews on "Antonia" is haunting and touching. I can't get it out of my head. It's so seldom you buy a CD to find that it was worth every penny...this is one of those CD's.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A contemplative compilation from a contemplative songwriter and singer, Harris is at the top of her professional game in this one. Eliptical from start to finish. I play the song "Bang the Drum Slowly" over and over again. "Michalengeo" is a haunting and evoking song of power and clarity of an artist near his end. Maybe is a parallel to Ms. Harris's career.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago