Much of my calendar year, every year, is spent sifting through record store bargain bins, estate sales, etc. and digging into the acquisitions. I win some and lose some, but I never write about it on AuxOut even though it accounts for a huge portion of my listening and discovery. In honor of the season of presents, I am celebrating some of the gifts bestowed upon me by the record gods during 2023.
Saturday, December 9, 2023
The 25 Bargain Buys of Xmas: Day 9
A nice collection of songs from Emmylou here. You have a pair of tunes penned by close collaborator Gram Parsons (the title track and the elegiac "She", arguably his best composition) as well as Susanna Clark, plus selections from classic old timers A.P. Carter and the Louvin Brothers, and even a rousing honky tonk version of Chuck Berry's "(You Never Can Tell) C'est la Vie". The centerpiece is Townes Van Zandt's immortal "Poncho & Lefty", as it's spelled on the jacket, which had been languishing in obscurity for years until Harris introduced it to a wider audience. Harris does justice to both the song's melancholic and mythical natures. The song has gone on to be a country standard (having Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard turn it into a smash hit single will do that) but if I'm not hearing Townes sing it, I hope I'm hearing Emmylou sing it.
A playlist of tunes from each of the records I wrote about, I'll add a new song each day: