If there’s any person in country music that a young artist and writer should look up to, it’s Emmylou Harris, without a doubt.
She’s a master with the pen, and has managed to crank out incredible music for the better part of five decades now, which is nothing short of impressive, to say the very least.
And she’s also one of Miranda Lambert’s musical heroes, which Miranda recently opened up about in a feature with Rolling Stone.
Her dad introduced her to greats like Emmylou, as well as John Prine, Guy Clark and David Allan Coe, and she was immediately hooked on the music from a very young age.
She says around 16 or 17, she started really getting into music and writing her own songs, and after hearing Emmy’s “Two More Bottles of Wine,” she realized there could be a balance in being both “badass and feminine.”
“How do I be a badass and still be feminine? Emmy exuded all of that.”
A delicate balance, indeed, but one I think almost every woman on the planet can relate to.
Specifically, she noted that song made her think:
“This girl’s here to party and not take shit. I like this, too.
What I love about Emmylou is when I’ll have no clue which song she wrote and which she didn’t write, because she owns every single thing she does with such grace and heart, and it all kills me.”
I’d say Miranda has that part down, and you can clearly hear that influence in almost all of her catalog, too.
She added that she’s always wanted to cover “Red Dirt Girl,” because it stopped her in her tracks the first time she heard it at 17:
“I’ve been saying it since 2000, but if I ever have the guts, I’d love to cover ‘Red Dirt Girl.’ That’s one of those songs that just stopped me.”
And one of the parts of Emmy’s career that Miranda admires the most, aside from her songwriting, is the longevity and how she’s been able to stay at the top of her game for so long.
She’s always had the goal to go as long as she could, and added that no two of her records have ever sounded the same, which is a huge feat in and of itself:
“I always said from day one, I want a career like Emmy’s, because it’s a never-ending career. She has 26 albums, and none of them are the same.
Emmy’s got this certain freedom because she sings with whoever she wants, whenever she wants; she covers whatever songs she wants; she writes whatever songs she wants to write.
It’s very inspiring to watch. It’s good to be reminded of when you first start digging into that fire that you felt at 17.
Sometimes we lose it here and there, because my hobby is also my job, and vice versa. But Emmylou’s music makes me reignite that fire.”
Couldn’t have said it any better myself.
And it’s easy to see the parallels in their career, as Miranda has been in the business now for over two decades herself, and continues to evolve as an artist, songwriter, and even businesswoman with several different ventures, too.
Back on her 2007 sophomore studio album Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Miranda covered Emmy’s “Easy From Now On.”
The song, written by Susanna Clark and Carlene Carter, was on Harris’ 1978 album, Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town, and peaked at #12 on the billboard charts that year when it was released as a single.
What I’d do to get a real deal duet from these two one day, though…
“Easy From Now On”
And check out Miranda covering “Two More Bottles Of Wine” over 10 years ago in 2010: