Emmylou Harris: Today’s Country Music Isn’t “Washed In The Blood”

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Emmylou Harris and long-time collaborator Rodney Crowell have a new album out with called The Traveling Kind, and while speaking in a joint interview with radio.com recently, Emmylou had some interesting words about what she thinks about today’s country music.

“I never listen to it, I have to be honest. Unless it’s by accident,” Emmylou said when asked if she relates to contemporary country. “When I do hear it by accident, it doesn’t relate to me at all, for the most part. There are some exceptions. I long for [artists like] Waylon Jennings. I don’t want to be the person who says ‘Country music has to be like this, and it can never change!’ I came in [to country music] and I think I had something to do with changing it, Rodney did too, Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, all changed things in a subtle way. Or maybe a bigger way. But it took a strange turn at some point. And maybe it’s when it got really popular, I don’t know. To where it doesn’t seem to be, as a friend of mine would have called it, ‘washed in the blood.'”

Emmylou has made similar statements before about how she no longer listens to contemporary country, but there are a few artists she will still listen to, including some of country music’s top female performers.

“I like Miranda, because she’s a dog-person,” Emmylou said. Miranda Lambert is know for her working with stray dogs as her “pet” charity project. “She’s a little firecracker. I know that there’s a lot of great gals out there.”

Emmylou also asked interviewer, “Who’s the gal that did “’Same Trailer, Different Park?’” (referring to Kacey Musgraves). “She’s great, and I do like Ashley Monroe’s ‘Like a Rose.’ Beautiful song. Beautiful song! So they do pop up in the cracks of the sidewalk every once in a while.”

Meanwhile Rodney Crowell chimed in when Sturgill Simpson’s name was mentioned, “Is he getting into the mainstream? Yeah, he’s great.”

Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell are currently on tour together through October (check dates).