The legendary country and Americana singer returned to Grand Rapids on Thursday with renowned singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter opening the show. Browse the photo gallery at Local Spins.
When the queen of Americana music and the “Red Dirt Girl” opens her mouth, beauty, heartbreak and passion flow out, along with captivating tales of her life and her music.
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The iconic, multi-award-winning Emmylou Harris unfurled a career spanning trove of gems at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park on Thursday, with another much-admired singer-songwriter, Mary Chapin Carpenter, getting the evening started.
Grand Rapids singer-songwriter and concert attendee Ralston Bowles raved that the 75-year-old Harris was “amazingly strong vocally” on Thursday night, delivering songs ranging from the apropos “All the Road Running” (the title track from the 2006 album recorded with Mark Knopfler) and “Born to Run” (from 1981’s “Cimarron”) to enduring classic renditions of “Orphan Girl,” “Green Pastures,” “Goin’ Back to Harlan, “Get Up John” and “The Wayfaring Stranger.”
Other songs in the set included “Easy From Now On,” “Raise the Dead,” “Gulf Coast Highway,” “Bang the Drum Slowly,” “One of These Days” and “Luxury Liner.”
She did it all amid a sun-splashed evening, backed by her all-star Red Dirt Boys band, with keyboardist Phil Madeira, guitarist Will Kimbrough, drummer Bryan Owings, bassist Chris Donohue and fiddler/mandolinist Eamon McLoughlin.
The set came after Carpenter opened the show with her own exemplary retoire, including her 1992 hit “Passionate Kisses” (a cover of a Lucinda Williams-penned tune). She later joined Harris on stage during her set.
PHOTO GALLERY: Emmylou Harris, Mary Chapin Carpenter at Meijer Gardens
Photos by Jamie Geysbeek