Aboard a rattly old train of thought set going by a discussion at Larvatus Prodeo of Van Morrison's new album, my thoughts of Emmylou Harris turned to the live concert I saw here in Adelaide a few years ago, where she came onstage in a green shirt and old blue jeans and stood quietly in the corner with her guitar playing a whole set of backup (yep, that's right) for Buddy Miller. She is -- like him -- a musician's musician.
She worked her way through most of the album she was touring to promote, Red Dirt Girl (oh and I so relate to that), interweaving the new songs with old classics. She also gave her support act Kasey Chambers -- then a rapidly rising star, at the post-The Captain but still pre- Not Pretty Enough stage -- lots of space, and came over at one point to sing a very hot duet.
During her set Chambers offered us her version of the definitive country song. It must, she said, have the following four elements, the Rules of Mainstream Country:
1. Country songs have to be about love
2. Someone has to die
3. Country songs have to be sad
4. You have to mention Texas.
She then sang the song she came up with when following these rules -- chorus only, so far.
Don’t look up my dress unless you mean it
Don’t you put your hand upon my thigh,
Before you stick that in you’d better clean it,
I hope I go to Texas when I die.