Emmylou Harris was a little-known singer and songwriter playing the folk circuit in Washington, D.C., when she was discovered by Gram Parsons, who invited her to sing on his solo albums and revealed to the world she had a voice of striking beauty and the talent to use it wisely. After Parsons' death, Harris embarked on a solo career that saw her creating a series of outstanding albums that combined the sound and style of classic country music with a progressive feel that made her one of the best respected artists of her generation. This specially priced box set includes Harris' first five albums for Reprise Records in full, featuring some of her most compelling studio recordings. Included in this set are 1975's Pieces of the Sky, 1975's Elite Hotel, 1977's Luxury Liner, 1978's Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town, and 1979's Blue Kentucky Girl.
With his second album Black Action Figure, Stefon Harris still is finding his footing as an innovator, yet he is well on his way to developing his own exciting sense of style. At its core, this is fairly traditionalist hard bop, but there is energy and unpredictability to Harris' playing that makes it feel chancier – and he does push harder at the borders of bop this time around. That added sense of adventure, along with the robust spirit of his supporting band, makes Black Action Figure another winner for Harris.
Amidst a new album bursting with hope, joy, romance and inspiration, including eleven songs penned or co-penned by the artist, it’s the Johnny Nash cover “I Can See Clearly Now” that Jonathan Butler elected to record on the So Strong album, his 15th solo collection, that speaks volumes about his outlook after a tumultuous year wrought with immense personal loss, pain and suffering.