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Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell Working on Duet Album

Emmylou Harris photo by Rocky Schenck, courtesy of Nonesuch Records.

Emmylou Harris is teaming up with Rodney Crowell, her famed Hot Band’s original guitarist, for a duet album, reports Billboard.com. They are working with producer Brian Ahern, who first worked with Emmylou on her major label solo debut, Pieces of the Sky, in 1975.

“At one point before the Hot Band, the Hot Band was me and Rodney sitting around with two acoustic guitars learning Don Gibson songs,” Emmylou said. “It’s kind of a thing we always said, ‘We’ve got to do a duet record,’ and he’s been busy and I’ve been busy. But earlier this year I just decided that I wanted to do a record with him, and if we didn’t book it and plan it and set aside some time, it would be something we’d get to the end of our lives and regret we’d never done it.”

The album will feature mainly cover songs, but they have considered songs Rodney wrote for others but never recorded himself. They are pretty far along in the recording process, but have been battling sickness and hope to finish the project soon. They are hoping to play a few shows together as well.  “I’m sure we’ll do something, but he’s got his career and I’ve got mine, so I don’t know what we’ll be able to do for sure,” Emmylou said.

This year is also the 25th anniversary of Emmylou’s first Trio album with Linda Ronstadt and Dolly Parton. To celebrate, the GRAMMY-winning collaboration will be re-released alongside 1999’s Trio 2 (as well as session outtakes), in a boxed set. Emmylou will also keep touring in support of 2011’s Hard Bargain. Emmylou wrote 11 of that album’s 13 tracks. “I’m very happy with that record,” she said. “I figured it was time to put on the writing hat, and I gave myself some time write, really cleared my schedule and put my energy into writing. I think it shows. We perform a lot of songs from that album, and it’s always good to have new material that you like to go with all the old stuff that I still, fortunately, like. It keeps you fresh.”

Emmylou’s next performance is scheduled for January 27 in Champaign, Illinois. Her Hard Times album is nominated for a GRAMMY in the Best Americana Album category.

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