ARTIST: Emmy Lou Harris
TITLE: Pieces of the Sky
YEAR RELEASED: 1975
CHART ACTION: #45, #7 US Country
SINGLES: Too Far Gone (#73 Country), If I Could Only Win Your Love (#58, #4 US Country)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: The Bottle Let Me Down, Coat of Many Colors, Queen of the Silver Dollar, For No One (all covers, of course)
LINEUP: Emmy Lou Harris and a whole mess of session players like Glenn D. Hardin, Ben Keith, Bernie Leadon, Ricky Skaggs, Bill Payne, Ron Tutt, James Burton, Byron BErline, and more. Linda Ronstadt sings backup on Queen of the Silver Dollar
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: First major label release for the former Gram Parsons collaborator, marked by a varied song choice and Harris’ beautiful vocals.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Emmy Lou Harris was the co-star on Gram Parsons’ two solo albums, and when Parsons passed away Harris was soon snapped up by Parsons’ label and producer Brian Ahern and Harris recorded a country album full of a variety of songs and styles, including Harris’ own tribute to Parsons “Boulder to Birmingham”.
The result was an album that showed off Harris’ voice, which is gorgeous and versatile. She’s more at home with gentle country and folk songs, but there’s no problem with her covers of “Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down” or “Queen of the Silver Dollar”. The players are veteran session men, and most worked with Parsons and Harris on the two albums they recorded together.
This started Harris’ career in earnest, and she soon became a mainstream country star and now a living legend. This is where it started, and it’s a great start to boot.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Harris recorded and released a folkie album called Gliding Bird in 1969, but the label went out of print and it failed.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, with two extra cuts.
GRADE: A-: A great start for Harris’ solo career