Saturday, May 19, 2007

Red Dirt Girl

Banana and I headed down to Brown's Island this afternoon for the Canal Walk festival. The ultimate reason for goingwas the Emmylou Harris show. I was a little leery of the $40 charge at the door--mind you, it would have been $30 if I'd been willing to commit myself to it a day earlier. Ah well...

Banana had a hell of a time on the various moonwalks and climbing towers, and then we headed to the front of the stage area for the show. At first, with a burger in her hand, Banana was calm and enjoyed the show. Once she'd finished her burger, however, it was time to play. Thankfully, most of the people around us were tolerant of her, and of the little boy she eventually drew into a game of tag.

So, the show...

Emmylou Harris has a stunning voice. For me, that is the first and most important fact. It almost didn't matter what she sang, so long as you could hear her sing it. Anyway, her combo was simply the guitarist and singer Buddy Miller and bassist Chris Donohue. The three of them stood center-stage and had the audience rapt for nearly two hours on a stunning, clear May afternoon.

She hit on a number of covers of tunes by Gillian Welch, Lucinda Williams, Townes Van Zandt, and others. A few selections off of Wrecking Ball and Red Dirt Girl were thrown in. She dipped back a ways into her catalog, and then came right back up to the most recent album with Mark Knopfler for what hit me as one of the most stellar moments of the whole show--"Love and Happiness." She wrote the song with a friend as they were thinking about being parents of adult children, and she dedicated it to her niece who was at the show with her young child.

I'm a sap lately, I'll admit it. But when I think on my life and what I hope for Anna, lyrics like this mean a great deal:
You will always have a lucky star
That shines because of what you are
Even in the deepest dark
Because your aim is true
And if i could only have one wish
Darling, then it would be this
Love and happiness for you