Last Night: Emmylou Harris At Verizon Wireless Theater

Emmylou Harris & the Red Dirt Boys Verizon Wireless Theater June 22, 2011

The song about the Italian painter wasn't in the set, and at the end it seemed like it was the only song not in the set, but watching Emmylou Harris and her Red Dirt Boys paint the curtained-off Verizon Wireless Theater Wednesday night with melodies as old as the hills felt like a private audience with Michaelangelo at the Sistine Chapel. No wonder they call her a Renaissance woman.

Harris sings like she's confiding a great private truth, or like she's leading a prayer meeting. Many times during the evening a great stillness descended on the room, the kind you don't often see outside a religious service. Even without overtly gospel songs like bluegrass rave-up "Get Up John" and mandolin-laced waltz "Green Pastures," the set was so suffused with spiritual imagery it belonged on a higher plane. Are there honky-tonks in heaven?

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray