Emmylou Harris, "Red Dirt Girl"

Category: Music

When I first heard this CD,(released in 2000), on my "big rig" it sounded very good but I liked rather than loved it. Recently, I was restricted to headphones (Sennheiser 600s into SF Line 2 preamp), and when I listened to this CD it suddenly seemed much more dynamic and detailed. IMO this is a great CD, and after picking up the detail from the headphones, it now sounds much better in with my Vand. 3As, but still somewhat more congested compared to the Senn. 600s-- I think it's a room/acoustics thing along with the distinctly "processed" sound of this CD. Any comments on this one? Cheers. Craig.
I agree. Listened to it once and wanted to love it but didn't. Now I'll have to retry with phones (have to see if I can figure an easy way to hook my Stax box and Lamda pro jrs. to my big rig.
I like Red Dirt Girl, but reach for wrecking ball when I need an Emmylou fix.
Anybody else have "Spyboy"? I like this even better than Wrecking Ball. Buddy Miller is fantastic, and the rhythm section is outstanding. I saw this lineup live and it was an excellent show.
Hmmm...I don't know about the actual recording (and the headphone thing). I've honestly listened to it most in the car. As far as music goes, it's a good album. Not amazing, but very solid. It's closer to "Wrecking Ball" than it is to her earlier albums, but I don't think many Emmylou fans would be disappointed. Besides...it's only one of two albums where she actually wrote the majority of the songs.
When I first listened to "wrecking ball" I thought it was an overproduced curiosity and a shame because on the few more acoustic cuts her voice, phrasing and interpretations were first rate. Just as Garfish with the 'phones, now with the new cd player, the inner detail and the wonderful balance between the bass, percussion and guitars show that Daniel Lanois is a fine producer. On my way to Amazon to order "Red Dirt Girl".
Hi Craig, I love "Red Dirt Girl" and "Wrecking Ball" but both are over procced for my taste. This will always keep them out of my top list. "Spyboy" is my favorite of Emmylous'. The bass is amazing on "Spyboy", a great woffer test. J.D.
Garfish Spyboy is on my favorite disc list and is always kept "handy" I don't own Wrecking ball would you guys rate it vs Spyboy if possible.
Hi Sol322, I would put "Spysoy" #1, "Red Dirt Girl" #2 and "Wrecking Ball" #3. My problem is I owened Spyboy prior to Wrecking ball and I like the Spyboy versions better. So my opinion might not be the best to use. Of course I had no problem sharing it though! J.D.
I agree 100% with Jadem6. The Spyboy versions seem to have more punch and life to them. There are a few quality songs on Wrecking Ball not on Spyboy (Title Cut, her version of Steve Earle's "Goodbye", among others), but I'd give the rankings the same way Jadem6 did.
Sol322, JD; I own and like them all a lot. I'd probably rate them #1 "Red Dirt Girl", #2 "Wrecking Ball", and #3 Spyboy. But I havn't listened to Spyboy for awhile. But really they're all excellent for this type of music. As noted in the C/W thread, my all time favorite of Emmylou's is "Cowgirl's Prayer"-- a more traditional recording. Craig.
Garfish, do you have her Live at the Ryman CD with the Nash Ramblers? It's more country/bluegrass than Spyboy, Wrecking Ball, etc., but she still nods to the alternative country scene with some Steve Earle and Springsteen covers on it. Lots of Bill Monroe influences. It used to be my favorite of hers (until Spyboy). The Nash Ramblers do an incredible job on vocal harmonies on that CD. The recording is quality as well.
Undertaker; Don't believe I have "Live at the Ryman", although I do have 15-20 Emmylou CDs. I'll make a point of finding it. Thanks. Craig.
Elite Hotel is unquestionably her best, followed by, ahem, Rose in the Snow, then Luxury Liner and then Spyboy. And to put this in perspective, Spyboy is one of my favorite cds, so no criticism of anyone else's point of view isintended. My taste in music as I age runs more to stuff with a beat. Cowgirls' Prayer is very very good as is the new cd. Roses in the Snow was a bluegrass album.

Craig, I think Red Dirt Girl is a tad overproduced and the details may be hard to find in the mix.

She sure is good looking for someone who's actually older than me.
Thanks for your input, I really apreciate your comments and also added a couple of pieces to my wish list.
With music I try to get input from different sources but I put more value on suggestions from Audiogon members.
Do you think that the ratings that show in Allmusic.com are helpful? Interesting to note that Paulwp rating for Elite Hotel is close to what´s in Allmusic. I really consider that we as a group look more for interpretation quality and sonics (not as much from the commercial success the record has had). This makes our music finding quest a little harder than "normal" consumers. Regards
Now I have two problems- 1. I was thinking of the wrong CD and 2. with the phones on, I find there is a hum (volume independent) in one channel. Now that I heard it over the phones, I can hear it when I get within about 1' of the LF driver on one side. I haven't gotten as far as starting to swap cables to isolate it to a specific component. Staying at least partially on topic, don't miss either of the Trio CDs for Emmy Lou, Dolly and Linda. Uneven material (and what's with that glass harp, sounds a little like the sound you can get by rubbing wine glass rims) but when it all works, its awesome. Dolly Parton without the country pop trappings has such an amazingly pure voice, Linda Ronstadt hasn't sounded as good in years, and Emmy Lou just adds soul and class to everything.
I tend to like emmylou Harris and the Nash Ramblers at the Ryman best amongst her efforts, tho I admitt it seems difficult to compare when she has done so many different kinds and quality of recordings over the years I think her Ballad Of Sally Rose is underrated,and in my opinion her writing there is better than on the Red Dirt album, overall.Still, She has achieved an excellent catalog of music-truly amazing, and I am thankful she is performing and writing. Finally,the title track on Red Dirt Girl-er, Red Dirt Girl, is an admirable example of song writing and is amongst my favorite emmylou efforts.
If you ever get a chance to see her live, do so. Emmylou puts on a great show, especially in a small venue.
Has anyone heard her on Live at the Ryman CD or LP. I wanted to maybe grab this one, as I heard a great version of "Get up John" on the radio today.
Saw her at a now defunct club in NYC when "Wrecking Ball" was released. She and her band gave a terrific performance.

I do remember her dressed in an all white pants suit and thinking this womwn (who is my age) is freeking beautiful!
Live @ ryman is a great one and Get up John is only one of teh good tracks. I've got the CD.
dont have this cd yet, but plan to get. i like any emmy lou harris. if she ever comes out to salt lake city again i would like to see her live. spyboy is GREAT
I own most of Emmy's LPs and CDs. IMHO, Red Dirt Girl is the worst due to Malcolm Burn's unsuccessful attempt to copy Daniel Lanois' production style (also an aquired taste for me). The are hundreds? of producers who do a better job with electonic/special effects than Burns (IMHO).