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Hard Bargain (Deluxe Version)

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Editors’ Notes

At 64, Emmylou Harris is still in fine voice and Hard Bargain features 11 songs written or co-written by Harris that are among her finest. Two covers — Ron Sexsmith’s “Hard Bargain” and producer Jay Joyce’s “Cross Yourself” — fit the emotive feel of the album. But the true brilliance here is that it was recorded as a trio: Emmylou, producer Joyce and drummer, multi-instrumentalist Giles Reaves. Yet the album does not sound like a rough and raw trio, but rather a fully accomplished band many members deep, bringing out focused performances with an extra kick. Her tribute to Gram Parsons, “The Road,” clicks with the energy of a live band. “Home Sweet Home” pushes her harmonies frontward with sweet reverb as the song speaks of homelessness. “My Name Is Emmett Till” recalls the murder that sparked the Civil Rights movement. It’s so spiritually rich one can hear the effect of “They say the horror of that night is haunting heaven still.” Hard Bargain is one of Emmylou’s best. If she’s left purebred country music, she’s created her own spiritually true music to take its place. The Deluxe Edition features “To Ohio,” a track recorded with the Low Anthem.

Customer Reviews

Some Pipes

Not a big fan of country; most of it sounds the same. Not this album. This woman has amazing range. She sure can sing.....

Dynamic and Pure!

Once again, Emmylou Harris delivers an uncompromising vision she seems to improve on with every songwriting effort. There is no one else in music today that has traveled the road Emmylou has, and continued to grow, impress and create what she delivers in this album. Her voice, at once distinctive and flooded with character, is both achingly genuine (Darlin' Kate) and weathered like an amazing gem that has only increased its worth with time (The Ship On His Arm). Inherently present, the songs don't have to struggle to bring a melody or a plot to the forefront. The artistry is sublime. Look at and hear this in all the songs. I particularly find Goodnight Old World, Cross Yourself, and The Ship On His Arm my personal favorites. But that is like choosing your favorite color of the rainbow!

If you are looking for an artist...and I do mean artist...that creates a vision into their soul, look no further. Give this treasure a try, and see what many of us have seen and loved for years. Emmylou Harris transcends boundaries and labels, and makes you listen, ache, desire, and imagine what music should be...a personal experience that makes you FEEL! Not too many of those artists are around today. Perhaps this album could also be called BORN THIS WAY.

Wonderful songs, wonderful voice, wonderful album.

I've been an Emmylou Harris fan for decades - and she just keeps getting better.
This is one great album.
You can have Lady Gaga in her rolling gyroscope and 25 male dancers.... I'll take this beautiful woman with her guitar, beautiful songs and mesmerizing voice any day.
THIS is music.


Born: April 2, 1947 in Birmingham, AL

Genre: Country

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Though other performers sold more records and earned greater fame, few had as profound an impact on contemporary music as Emmylou Harris. Blessed with a crystalline voice, a remarkable gift for phrasing, and a restless creative spirit, she traveled a singular artistic path, proudly carrying the torch of "cosmic American music" passed down by her mentor, Gram Parsons. With the exception of only Neil Young -- not surprisingly an occasional collaborator -- no other mainstream star established a similarly...
Full Bio
Hard Bargain (Deluxe Version), Emmylou Harris
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Customer Ratings