Old Yellow Moon by Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell

This long-awaited album (Emmylou had been promising its release for some time) now comes to fruition, and for longtime fans the wait is genuinely worth it.

In Old Yellow Moon, the former bandmates—Rodney was once a member of Emmylou’s esteemed Hot Band—and close friends remind us that the beauty of art often lies in simplicity. The tunes are executed with soft acoustic instruments and gentle production, a refreshing change of pace in an era where “bombast” is often meant to mean “vitality.”

The record gets off to a jaunty start with “Hanging Up My Heart” and Roger Miller’s “Invitation to the Blues” and follows with a mix of beautiful ballads, such as Matraca Berg’s “Back When We Were Beautiful,” one of the most astute and poignant observations of “aging gracefully” ever scribed.

At intervals, though, the pace of Old Yellow Moon becomes a bit too leisurely, particularly with “Dreaming My Dreams” and “Here We Are.”

Emmylou and Rodney seem at their best with the more up-tempo offerings like Kris Kristofferson’s “Chase the Feeling” and “Bluebird Wine,” which features Rodney’s playful vocals.

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