Emmylou Harris - vocals, guitar; Wayne Goodwin - keyboards, saxophone, fiddle; Don Johnson - keyboards; Barry Tashian - guitar, banjo; Michael Bowden - bass; Keith Knudson - drums; Mary Ann Kennedy - vocals; Pam Rose - vocals; Steve Fishell - dobro, pedal steel; Frank Reckard - mandolin, guitar
Emmylou Harris was celebrating ten years as a national touring act when this show was recorded in Cincinnati, OH in March of 1985. Though she originally came out of the Southern California country-rock movement that spawned The Eagles, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Linda Ronstadt and others, by this point Harris had pretty much developed a solid country music fan base.
The fact is made more than evident in the material included in this show, recorded for the Silver Eagle Cross Country radio concert series. Harris had just wrapped up a year as President of the Country Music Association, and she had just completed the semi-autobiographical LP, The Ballad of Sally Rosel.
Harris is an astonishing vocalist and her ability to take well known songs such as a Beatles or Motown classics and revamp them into what nearly become original compositions is proof that great artistry can transcend anything. Unlike her early mid-1970s concerts, where she often relied on the stellar musicianship of her backup band to carry a lot of the show, this time Harris is clearly in charge and confident in her own artistic ability.
Highlights include her take on the Parsons original, "Grievous Angel," "Blue Kentucky Girl," a peppy remake of the early 1950s pop song, "Mr Sandman" and several introspective ballads including "Darkest Hour Is Just Before Dawn" and "Drivin' Wheel." She closes the show with several popular covers, including her bluegrass take on The Coasters' "Save The Last Dance For Me," Dolly Parton's "To Daddy" and a rockin' remake of Dave Dudley's "Six Days On The Road." Also included is a sound-check jam of the classic Duane Eddy song, "Rebel Rouser".