Emmylou Harris & The Nash Ramblers – Ramble in Music City: The Lost Concert (Live) (2021) [FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Emmylou Harris & The Nash Ramblers – Ramble in Music City: The Lost Concert (Live) (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/96kHz | Time – 01:15:43 minutes | 1,65 GB | Genre: Country
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Nonesuch

After fifteen years of touring with the beloved Hot Band, Emmylou Harris formed the Nash Ramblers, a new acoustic all-star group, in 1990, featuring Sam Bush (fiddle, mandolin, vocals), Roy Huskey Jr. (bass), Larry Atamanuik (drums), Al Perkins (dobro, banjo, vocals), and Jon Randall Stewart (acoustic guitar, mandolin, vocals). The band played on the road for several months before making their Nashville debut at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) on September 28, 1990. That concert was recorded and shelved, while another live run at the Ryman Auditorium the following spring was released as At the Ryman to great acclaim, winning a Grammy and spurring public interest in saving the beloved music hall. Now, more than thirty years later, Rhino’s James Austin has unearthed the 1990 TPAC recording and Nonesuch releases Ramble in Music City: The Lost Concert for the first time on September 3, 2021. The TPAC set features entirely different songs from the Ryman album and includes music by A.P. Carter, Rodney Crowell, Ruth Franks, the Louvin Brothers, Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, Paul Simon, and Townes Van Zandt, among others, as well as her own compositions.

Legend has it that by the late 1980s Emmylou Harris was growing tired of singing over an electric band, which she’d been doing since the early ’70s. She dissolved her crack electric outfit, collectively known as The Hot Band (which initially included the likes of guitarist James Burton and pianist Glen Hardin-both from Elvis Presley’s TCB band-and Rodney Crowell), and formed the acoustic backing band the Nash Ramblers (Sam Bush, Jon Randall Stewart, Roy Huskey, Jr., Al Perkins, Larry Atamanuik). In 1991, Harris and her new band recorded At the Ryman, at the historic, original home of the Grand Ole Opry, which hadn’t hosted a public performance since 1974. Released in 1992, the live album captured their evolution into a supremely tight and musical unit and also led to the Ryman’s much needed renovation. Turns out an even earlier show, at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, was captured, too. Both are well-recorded, with the Ryman set flatter and closer-miked and The Lost Concert incorporating more of the sound of the room. The biggest difference between the two sets-but what also makes them a matched set of sorts-is that while the Ryman show concentrated on material that had not appeared on any Harris studio records, Ramble in Music City: The Lost Concert is a stroll down memory lane for both Harris and longtime fans alike as she digs into familiar repertoire from her time on Reprise and Warner Bros records (1975-1990). She and the Ramblers-who even this early have obviously gelled-run through classic Harris covers like “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues,” “Amarillo,” “Blue Kentucky Girl,” “Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight” and the closer, “Boulder to Birmingham” from her still potent Reprise debut, Pieces of the Sky. A rhythmic, chunka chunk version of Delbert McClinton’s “Two More Bottles of Wine” (from her Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town album) equals or exceeds the studio version. And Harris again shows her special way with Paul Simon’s “The Boxer.” Having Jon Randall Stewart and his high tenor on harmony vocals was hugely key to the Nash Ramblers success, along with the fleet string skills of Bush, Randall and the late Roy Huskey, Jr. The group’s musical camaraderie is most obvious on a version of “Mystery Train” whose pace is pure rock ‘n’ roll. The band stretches out on the instrumental jam, “Remington Ride” and benefitting from the lower volumes, Harris gives a particularly tender and feathery version of the Jesse Winchester ballad, “My Songbird.” Best of all, the band seem to be enjoying themselves throughout. Superb from start to finish, The Lost Concert is a wonderful surprise from the inestimable James Austin who rediscovered the tapes, unheard for 30 years, of a terrific show by Harris’ other hot band. – Robert Baird

1. Roses in the Snow (Live) (02:32)
2. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (Live) (03:09)
3. Beneath Still Waters (Live) (04:07)
4. If I Could Only Win Your Love (Live) (02:34)
5. Amarillo (Live) (02:47)
6. The Other Side of Life (Live) (02:57)
7. If I Needed You (Live) (03:41)
8. Two More Bottles of Wine (Live) (02:58)
9. Mystery Train (Live) (02:31)
10. My Songbird (Live) (03:28)
11. Wayfaring Stranger (Live) (03:23)
12. Green Pastures (Live) (03:26)
13. Blue Kentucky Girl (Live) (03:06)
14. Hello Stranger (Live) (03:36)
15. Remington Ride (Live) (02:46)
16. One of These Days (Live) (02:53)
17. The Boxer (Live) (02:54)
18. Born to Run (Live) (03:47)
19. The Price I Pay (Live) (05:02)
20. Sweet Dreams (Live) (03:54)
21. Save the Last Dance for Me (Live) (03:16)
22. Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight (Live) (03:18)
23. Boulder to Birmingham (Live) (03:38)