"Mine is no ordinary star, love/I see exactly where you are, love/And no one else could shine that far, love, to bring you safely through … But if Heaven's just a dreaming/Surely my love will be redeeming/And you will dream your dream of me"
— from "I Will Dream"
Recording for 30 years now, Emmylou Harris was one of the first artists to bridge country and folk together with pop and rock–much like Bob Dylan, Alison Krauss, and Over the Rhine. Although she remained a respected artist through the '80s, it wasn't until 1995 when Harris had an artistic reawakening with her album Wrecking Ball. Three years later she released her Grammy Award–winning Red Dirt Girl. Now at the age of 57 comes the intriguingly titled Stumble Into Grace.
The album was produced by Malcom Burn, most famous for working with Dylan and John Mellencamp—but also with Christian group The Normals, shaping their last two CDs and housing them in his own home/studio for A Place Where You Belong. He's assisted this time by longtime friend Daniel Lanois, also a spiritually–minded producer who's worked with Dylan, U2, and Peter Gabriel. For Stumble Into Grace, Harris is joined by longtime friend and guitarist Buddy Miller and on backing vocals by Christian artists Julie Miller (Buddy's wife) and Jane Siberry.
It all adds up to eclectic folk and country with beautiful, gritty vocals and a haunting lyricism heavily influenced by Harris' Christian beliefs. "Little Bird" is an interesting blend of traditional folk, country, and Celtic, and "Plaisir d'Amour" combines the beauty of the elegance of the French language with a timeless acoustic folk sound. Harris offers an elegy to the late June Carter Cash with "Strong Hand," written and ...1
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