Stumble into Grace

Stumble into Grace

4.7 4
by Emmylou Harris
     
 
Emmylou Harris entertains an all-star lineup of female guests on Stumble into Grace, but in the end it's the dazzling host you remember. Produced by Malcolm Burn, who was behind the board for the Grammy-winning Red Dirt Girl, Stumble showcases Harris's voice in all its dimensions: her singing

Overview

Emmylou Harris entertains an all-star lineup of female guests on Stumble into Grace, but in the end it's the dazzling host you remember. Produced by Malcolm Burn, who was behind the board for the Grammy-winning Red Dirt Girl, Stumble showcases Harris's voice in all its dimensions: her singing voice, which is, as always, utterly captivating, and her increasingly assured writer's voice -- she either wrote or co-wrote 10 of the 11 songs here, the lone exception being the traditional "Plaisir d'Amour." Burn's soundscapes are suitably atmospheric and rich, but spare. The softly strummed acoustic guitar, wisps of harmonica, and lightly brushed drums make Harris's repeated exhortations of "Can't you hear me now?" at the end of "Can You Hear Me Now" sound searching and lost in the most haunting way. Similarly, in "Strong Hand," dedicated to the late June Carter Cash, evocative sonics lend grandeur to a song celebrating the simple, enduring love June had for everything and everyone in her life (Linda Ronstadt adds harmonies, for good measure). Even a funky little tale of lust a-borning, "Jupiter Rising," benefits from a small-combo lineup that keeps a steady groove without any single instrument hogging the scene. Julie Miller contributes some plaintive background cries to the dark, shuffling "Here I Am," Harris's winsome tale of longing for a lover whose emotional and geographical distance is taking its toll. Jane Siberry guests on two songs, as do the McGarrigle sisters -- the latter's celestial harmonies on "Cup of Kindness," the beautiful album closer about the ties that bind, are especially effective. Humanity is what it's all about here, and clearly Emmylou knows whereof she speaks.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
There's something just the slightest bit comic about calling an Emmylou Harris album Stumble into Grace. While Harris has always sounded as if both earthly and spiritual grace were created with her in mind, when she sings, it seems she can no more stumble than a dolphin can be taught to walk on dry land. Stumble into Grace finds Harris following in the same creative path she began to pursue with Wrecking Ball and Red Dirt Girl, which is to say that the influence of her country-influenced material is more felt than heard as she dips her toes into the spectral and atmospheric accents of folk, indie pop, and world music. While Harris has long been just as interested in nuance and blank spaces as the notes of her songs, producer Malcolm Burn (who also collaborated with her on Red Dirt Girl) knows what to make of the purposefully spare surfaces of these new songs (which, again, like Red Dirt Girl, were, for the most part, written by Harris herself), and the results are splendid. Part of the revelation of Wrecking Ball and Red Dirt Girl was hearing Harris moving in a startling new direction, and while Stumble into Grace seems less novel in the context of its immediate predecessors, the bitter clarity of "Time in Babylon," the gentle but energetic textures of "Little Bird," and the funky shuffle of "Jupiter Rising" confirm that she hasn't run out of new avenues to explore. After three decades as a world-class talent, what's most heartening is that Harris is not only making some of the finest music of her career at a time when many artists would be treading water, but she's delightfully confounding expectations at the same time. Stumble into Grace shows she's still playing at the top of her game.
Entertainment Weekly - Kristina Feliciano
Lovely, heartbreaking, and just diffident enough to get perspective on this bittersweet old world. (A)

Product Details

Release Date:
09/23/2003
Label:
Nonesuch
UPC:
0075597980523
catalogNumber:
79805
Rank:
75563

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Emmylou Harris   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,6-string bass
Jane Siberry   Background Vocals
Linda Ronstadt   Background Vocals
Julie Miller   Background Vocals
Kevin Salem   Electric Guitar
Malcolm Burn   Bass,Harmonica,Percussion,Piano,Electric Guitar,Hammond Organ,Background Vocals,Human Whistle,fender rhodes,Churango
Ethan Johns   Drums,Electric Guitar
Darryl Johnson   Bass,Percussion,Drums,Background Vocals
Daniel Lanois   Pedal Steel Guitar,Background Vocals,Performing Ensemble
Bernie Leadon   Electric Guitar
Colin Linden   Electric Guitar
Anna McGarrigle   Background Vocals
Buddy Miller   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Gillian Welch   Background Vocals
Kate McGarrigle   Acoustic Guitar,Violin,Accordion,Background Vocals
Rev. Brady Blade   Percussion,Drums,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Emmylou Harris   Arranger,Composer
Malcolm Burn   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Liner Notes,Instrumentation
Paul Kennerley   Composer
Daniel Lanois   Composer
Anna McGarrigle   Arranger,Composer
Jill Cunniff   Composer
Kate McGarrigle   Arranger,Composer
Joe West   Engineer
Todd Vos   Engineer
Dean Norman   Documentation
Traditional   Composer
Josh Muncy   Engineer
Bert Meadows   Photo Assistance

Customer Reviews

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Stumble into Grace 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Emmylou Harris continues to be one of the best singer/songwriters of our times. This cd just shows that she still has what it takes to make great records. I recently saw her at MSG with Dave Matthews. It was one of the greatest shows ever. I love her voice and her lyrics. She a good guitar player which she doesn't get too much credit for.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I *love* this CD. I don't know what category this CD fits but I play it over and over. The melodies are intoxicating, addictive, haunting. Please give us more EmmyLou!
mike-v More than 1 year ago
You will play this on repeat over and over. I never get sick of hearing it. Her voice is phenomenal and the instrumentation on this CD is great.
SeaCA More than 1 year ago
soulful