For those who read my blog regularly, you know that I don't buy music anymore. That is partially my fault and partially the music business's fault.
I will take the blame for being stuck in the past, but in my defense, if good music was being made, do you think I wouldn't buy it?
To me, an artist has to prove themselves. I didn't buy Billy Ray Cyrus's album in 1992, and history has proven me correct. BR was a one-hit wonder. I'm not going to squander my hard-fought dollars on a flash in the pan.
Emmylou and Rodney, though, I know. I've known them since the early nineteen seventies. Okay, I didn't know that Rodney was "Rodney". I just knew he was "that guy who sang backup for Emmylou", and he apparently (my liner notes told me) wrote a bunch of the songs she was singing.
Elite Hotel was a wondrous thing. A country music album for music lovers who had been left in the dust by leisure-suited hipsters who were entranced by the likes of Dave and Sugar.
Rodney stepped out on his own a bit later; a decade or so later, actually.
Apparently, Rodney liked to do things in a big way, because his 1988 Diamonds and Dirt produced five consecutive number one singles; and is, to me, one of the best country albums of all time.
So, when these two decided to get back together, lo these many, many years later, I was intrigued.
Old Yellow Moon was a birthday gift.
Emmylou has white hair now; and Rodney probably does, too; under that hat. But it bears repeating: chronological age does not render one useless and hapless. True talent triumphs.
So, I listened to the album tonight.
Is it sacrilegious to say that my favorite tracks were not written by Rodney Crowell?
My absolute favorite track is a song that I loved back when Waylon recorded it; and what could be better than hearing two of my favorite artists singing it?
I was surprised to learn that Allen Reynolds had written "Dreaming My Dreams". What I remember about Allen Reynolds is that he wrote a bunch of pop-tart songs for Crystal Gayle; but I guess I sold him way short. Dreaming My Dreams is a gorgeous song. I'm just glad that Crystal Gayle didn't make a hit of it.
You may or may not know that Vince Gill was also one of Emmylou's backup singers; way back when. Here he is, introducing Emmylou and Rodney; in an admittedly poor quality video; singing another of my ultimate favorite country songs, "Invitation to the Blues"; which was written by Roger Miller:
Oh, but it's not just old songs. Nay. This album contains many good tracks, including "Spanish Dancer", "Back When We Were Beautiful" (written by the great Matraca Berg); "Here We Are"; actually written by Rodney! And the title track, "Old Yellow Moon":
I give this album a solid B+.
But you know me; I'm a sucker for the old (or new) tried and true.