Rodney Crowell and Emmylou Harris Rekindle The Spirit

This article appears in our May/June issue. Subscribe here. As Emmylou Harris answers the door of her Nashville home and ushers her duet partner Rodney Crowell into the kitchen, their conversation skips from lighthearted greetings to official matters. He’s offered to host the rehearsals for their upcoming tour at his house, and she’s inquiring as to whether his backyard would simultaneously accommodate their dogs’ first play date. That, too, is an important part of road preparation. If all goes well with their newly assembled group of top-tier pickers and their newly introduced, much-beloved mutts, soon they’ll have a tight little roots-country combo backing them on stage and one big happy blended canine family keeping them company on the bus. Working out such comfy, cozy logistics is a luxury afforded tour mates who are long past the first-impression stage, not only with each other but with their respective audiences. Harris and Crowell have an entwined four-decade history of music-making. This is the post-coronation era of their careers; she’s in the Country Music Hall of Fame, he’s in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and they’ve both received Americana Lifetime Achievement Awards, hers for performance and his for songwriting. The reason Crowell…

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