Friday, 25 July 2014

Daniel Lanois and Emmylou Harris

Daniel Lanois played the Montreal Jazz Festival this year, jangling his guitars in that "U2 circa 1988" soundscape of his. He and Eno produced those famous U2 records of the 80's and I've always wondered whether it was Lanois that created the Edge's sound or vice versa. Anyway, it's a beautiful noise and the concert was fine and all, but initially missing a spark - Lanois is quite understated and there was an absence of personality as he played. Which probably helps in his role as a collaborator, bringing out the best in other performers without getting in the way, but doesn't make for a great gig.

And then he was joined by Emmylou Harris. Her Lanois-produced album "Wrecking Ball" is one of my all time favourites and the reason I was at this show. When she strolled on stage after an hour it was like the sun came out - her voice soaring and swooping over the guitars and rhythm section. The highlight was the long version of Lanois' song "The Maker", the same arrangement as on Harris's Spyboy recording and tour. I've been playing it incessantly in my car every since the concert.

Here is the arrangement of the song with Emmylou and her band Spyboy: Brady Blade on drums (just as he was in Montreal with Lanois), Daryl Johnson on bass, and Buddy Miller playing the Lanois role. Pretty damn great.

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