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Emmylou Harris Set to Launch a ‘Hard Bargain’

Nonesuch Records

Emmylou Harris drives a ‘Hard Bargain.’

Or at least that’s what she decided to name her new album, which will be released April 26. Emmylou is celebrating her first record since the 2008 release ‘All I Intended to Be’ with several intimate shows in Austin, Los Angeles and New York City.

“We did the whole record in about a month, which is quite unusual for me,” Emmylou says. “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.’

The other 11 songs on the new album are originals. Two of the songs look back at her time with friends Kate McGarrigle (‘Darlin’ Kate’) and Gram Parsons (‘The Road’).

“We did the whole thing with just three musicians, me being one of them,” Emmylou continues. “Jay, the producer, and Giles Reeves play everything between them. 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.”

At a concert March 5 in her hometown of Birmingham, Ala., Emmylou played two songs from the upcoming album: the title track and ‘Big Black Dog.’ She told the crowd that ‘Big Black Dog’ was inspired by her rescue dog Bella, according to the Birmingham News.

She also hinted that the crowd shouldn’t think that all the songs she wrote are autobiographical. “I like to sing sad songs, but I had a really happy childhood,” she told the crowd. “So I had to make up some stuff.”

A deluxe version of the new album will include a DVD with six performances plus interviews. Fans who pre-order now through the record label website will receive an exclusive manuscript lyric sheet of ‘The Road,’ some of which Emmylou will autograph.

To pre-order the album, go here.

Emmylou is on tour. Her next scheduled concert is March 14 in Lexington, Ky. For more concert information, check here.

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