by Chris Familton
Veritable veterans of country music, Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell have been friends ever since she heard a cassette demo of his song Bluebird Wine (covered here) back in 1975. She included the song on her debut album and he joined her band so it is surprising this is their first true album of duets. Time has served them well though and Old Yellow Moon hits the delicate spot between traditional and alt-country with the pair selecting a balanced mix of covers and Crowell originals for this lovely album.
The moods on the record run the gamut from slow and schmaltzy to some cracking upbeat moments like on Kris Kristofferson’s Chase The Feeling and Crowell’s aforementioned Bluebird Wine. The real highlight though is the dark and bluesy Black Caffeine where the pair hit a snaking, almost sexy groove. There is a natural sympatico between the pair’s voices, primarily as Crowell can work both the high and low register, adding nice range and colour to the vocals around Harris’s nasal twang. Here We Are is an ode to love that reads more as friendship in the hands of Harris and Crowell, its sentiment summing up what is an endearing and long overdue country collaboration.
this review was first published on FasterLouder