Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 4 Reviews

Emmylou Harris
Sunday, Oct. 3, 5:50 p.m.
Banjo Stage
Reviewed by Mike Alexis

It was time for Warren Hellman to say his thanks and introduce the artist that we all agree represents, "Where the festival comes to its climax." In a long, pink, sparkling skirt, Emmylou shined bright under the stage lights as the sky darkened and the air became even colder. She happily admitted to the crowd that after years of bringing rock bands to the festival she told Warren, "this year I'm gonna bring a bluegrass band." Backed by Jon Randall Stewart on guitar, Byron House on bass, and Sam Bush on mandolin, Emmylou eloquently closed out the festival with heart-warming and heart-wrenching songs that were definitely more strictly than hardly bluegrass.

She started off the set with "Roses in the Snow" an understated country song that showed her rich voice in full bloom, followed a few songs in by "Red Dirt Girl," which is "a favorite song of Warren's" according to Emmylou. She also mentioned that the band had flew in the day before for its one and only rehearsal, which seemed hard to believe judging from how tight they all sounded together. Next came the sweet and tender Don Gibson song "Sweet Dreams" which was captured beautifully with three-part harmonies.

Another highlight was the bluesy, rockin' drinking song "Two More Bottles of Wine," which caught Emmylou and band at their most animated. This was followed by "One of These Days" the song she mentioned she sang in Nashville recently for George Jones's 50th Anniversary of making music. Topping that with the sentimental "If I Could Only Win Your Love," Emmylou enthralled the huge crowd - some of which braved the cold since seeing her sound check eight hours earlier - with her triumphant return to bluegrass.

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