After her 2013 duet album with Rodney Crowell "Old Yellow Moon" won a Grammy Award for Best Americana album, Emmylou Harris is already planning her follow-up album with Crowell. For the new album, the two are going to keep it simple.
"It's just me and Rodney singing," she tells Rolling Stone. "I don't know how different that will be. We're actually working with Joe Henry to produce. We wanted to change things up just a little bit, but basically it's just two friends singing together."
Having met nearly 40 years before the release of this album, in 1974, the two started working together almost instantly, by recording the Crowell-penned "Bluebird Wine". The song became the opening number for Harris's 1975 Pieces of the Sky album and has been re-recorded for Old Yellow Moon with slightly altered lyrics and, for a change, Rodney Crowell singing lead.
During 1975, Crowell became part of Harris' backing band "The Hot Band". As such he toured with her and is featured as musician on most of her 1970s and 1980s albums. In addition, Emmylou Harris has recorded roughly 20 Crowell-composed songs over the years, such as "I Ain't Living Long Like This", "Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight" and "Till I Gain Control Again".
EmmyLou returned the favor and can be heard prominently as backing vocalist and musician on Crowell's debut LP Ain't Living Long Like This, released in 1978.
"We just decided to do another duet album together, to have some more fun," Crowell says. "We had a ball working on 'Old Yellow Moon.' We bring out a lot of good stuff in each other. We just understood that we have to have more time to explore that."
One song that may appear on the album is an unnamed tune that they began close to two decades ago. "Right now, Emmy and I are collaborating on one song that I started to write 17, 18 years ago," Crowell says. "I'm no good at telling a song what it should be. It will tell me what it wants to be."