First I must explain my total undying love of Gram Parsons and even moreso Emmylou Harris. To explain my credentials for Gram I own not one but two homemade fake Gram Nudie Suits.
As to the combination here is a picture in my music listening room.
Now my love for emmylou goes a little deeper. Years ago a stupid sitcom or movie, I can’t remember exactly, had a couple who each had one person they were allowed to cheat on their spouse with. Well when Sam and I got married 10 years ago I got one free pass and that person was the 60 year old Emmylou Harris. Her voice sounding to me like the great Music of the Ainur. We will not get into specifics of my plans just know that I am a total wimp because I sat next to her once following that and Sam just laughed and laughed that I couldnt even muster the ability to say a single word to her. Just the feeling of her near me made my knees buckle and my face turn red. (Imagine the feeling of a high school freshman sitting next to the prom queen)
On to Gram Parsons and The Grevious Angels: Live 1973
How does an album so amazing slip through my knowledge? I chalk it up to the spectacular wormhole that is music fandom and its infinite possibilities. Upon first opening I got the feeling of I don’t believe this is real but here it is in my hands so it probably is.
The record is a recording of the touring version of the Fallen Angels on tour after the release of GP but before the release of Grevious Angel taped live in a radio studio on Long Island. It is some of the earliest recordings of a featured Emmylou Harris and her first live recording. As you would hope for from an “official” bootleg made in a studio the sonics are great. There is also interview/banter, but unfortunately no Cook’s Pest Control commercials included.
Gram qualude-ily announces emmylou harris 2 minutes into the first song, We’ll Sweep Out the Ashes in the Morning, as if to say hold on to your oh shit handles because this woman is going to blow your mind for the next 40+ years.
Country Baptizing, the second track makes me think that was what is was like when Cris Hillman discovered emmylou in Baltimore. Also contains my kind of bass solo.
The whole album seems so fresh to me because though I knew many of the songs, the band is not the one that plays on Gram’s two solo albums. So songs like drug store truck driving man have a whole new feel. And as most live shows this is much more upbeat than Grams albums.
Oh, the banter from Gram, especially after New Soft Shoe. “is it true you are a Harvard university scholar” “no, I am a Harvard drop out”
The Love Hurts on this album must be the one that floats around the radio and maxell XL-II mixtapes because it is so familiar to me. Clearly the definitive version of one of the great covers of all time. PS any covers mixes on spotify that do not contain this specific version of this song are not to be trusted. CW
It’s so clear by the tempo, song choices and timing that Gram Parsons just had the most perfect taste. Must be the orange juice. Never more perfectly proven than the closing medley.
A big thank you to the person who sent me this album. It was like a fortune cookie saying sometimes the most amazing things are hiding right in front of you. So less research and spend more time opening your eyes.