Emmylou Harris will release her latest album, Hard Bargain, on April 26 on Nonesuch Records. Produced by Jay Joyce, the album will include eleven songs written or co-written by Emmylou as well as two cover tracks. There will also be a deluxe album made available which will include a DVD of six live performances as well as interviews.
“We did the whole record in about a month, which is quite unusual for me,” Emmylou said. “But I had all the material beforehand. I’d written 11 of the 13 songs and I really wanted to include two more by other writers. One of the covers is Ron Sexsmith’s ‘Hard Bargain’ which I absolutely love. The other is by Jay Joyce, called ‘Cross Yourself.’”
Also unusual is that Emmylou’s record features just three musicians, including herself. “Jay, the producer, and Giles Reeves play everything between them,” she said. “It’s not a stripped down record though; there’s only one song that’s a little bare bones. I’m basically a slow ballad-y person, but Jay managed to really move the songs up a bit. But they still have the same emotional feel.”
Two songs on Hard Bargain look at relationships that were central to Emmylou in her creative life. She wrote “Darlin’ Kate” in honor of her close friend and collaborator Kate McGarrigle who died from a rare form of cancer last year. “The Road” looks back at the time Emmylou spent with country/rock icon Gram Parsons at the beginning of her career.