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Review and photos by Mary AndrewsGrammy award winner Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell surpassed all expectations for the Fox Tucson Theatre's charity gala. This event marked the 85th anniversary since the Fox Theatre opened its doors and the show presented two of the most revered legends in country music.
The events at the Fox Theatre started with Emmylou Harris teaming up with the Southern Arizona Humane Society and bringing a rescue dog on stage that she had encountered earlier in the day at her hotel. This was a natural pairing between the singer and the Human Society since Ms. Harris is very passionate about dog rescue. She established her own organization, Bonaparte's Retreat, in 2004. Emmylou was strongly urging the people in the audience to give this dog a home.
Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell took the stage for a 90-minute show of classic country music. The two country singers have played together intermittently for 40 years. They mentioned that it took them 38 years to make their first album together, Old Yellow Moon, in 2013. They followed that release this year with the album, The Traveling Kind. Tonight's bountiful set covered their solo careers delving back to the 1970s as well as offerings from their two albums together.
They opened the show with a Lucinda Williams penned song from their new album, "I Just Wanted To See You So Bad." It was apparent from the start that these two voices blended so well that it seemed to be one voice. It was a perfect pairing that continued throughout the show. Ms. Harris was at the forefront of the set most of the time. Mr. Crowell remained close by. There was very little banter between the 26 songs performed during the set.
The band was nothing short of stellar. Australian guitarist Jedd Hughes played like his hands were on fire and he certainly rivals some of the best guitarists in the business. Chris Tuttle played great accordion and keyboards while Steve Fishell kept the flank up with steel guitar. John McTeague on drums and Michael Rinne on bass were extraordinary. There was lots of muscle in the band to make the songs flourish elegantly.
The songs in the set had genuine stories to tell and the singers gave them all the heart and soul anyone could possibly muster without being morose. Upbeat songs like "I Ain't Living Long Like This" and "Bluebird Wine" were given the 'mud-kickin' rodeo treatment that they deserved.
Emmylou Harris brought out her touring recue dog, Kita, on stage to take a bow and get some audience pets! This show generated great old country spirit bringing back memories of Gram Parsons, Waylon Jennings, the Everly Brothers, Roger Miller, and Townes Van Zandt. It was an intimate evening spent with two masters of country music.
1. I Just Wanted to See You So Bad
(Lucinda Williams cover)
2. Wheels (The Flying Burrito Brothers cover)
3. Poncho and Lefty (Townes Van Zandt cover)
4. Ooh Las Vegas (Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris cover)
5. Love Hurts (The Everly Brothers cover)
6. 'Til I Gain Control Again (Rodney Crowell cover)
7. I'll Be Your San Antone Rose (Emmylou Harris cover)
8. Invitation to the Blues (Roger Miller cover)
9. Red Dirt Girl (Emmylou Harris cover)
10. The Rock of My Soul (Rodney Crowell cover)
11. Boulder to Birmingham (Emmylou Harris cover)
12. Bluebird Wine (Emmylou Harris cover)
13. Luxury Liner (The International Submarine Band cover)
14. The Traveling Kind
15. You Can't Say We Didn't Try
16. Bring It on Home to Memphis
17. The Weight of the World
18. Back When We Were Beautiful (Matraca Berg cover)
19. Dreaming My Dreams (Waylon Jennings cover)
20. Tulsa Queen (Emmylou Harris cover)
21. Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight (Rodney Crowell cover)
22. I Ain't Livin' Long Like This (Rodney Crowell cover)
23. Old Yellow Moon
24. Stars on the Water (Rodney Crowell cover)
25. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (Rodney Crowell cover)
26. Return of the Grievous Angel (Gram Parsons cover)
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