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Stumble Into Grace [CD]

Emmylou HarrisAudio CD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)

Price: $9.61 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Already celebrated as a discoverer and interpreter of other artists’ songs, 12-time Grammy Award–winner Emmylou Harris has, in the last decade, become admired as much for her eloquently straightforward songwriting as for her incomparably expressive singing. On Hard Bargain, her third Nonesuch disc, she offers 11 original songs—three of them co-written with Grammy– and ... Read more in Amazon's Emmylou Harris Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 23, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B0000AKNEN
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,701 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Here I Am
2. I Will Dream
3. Little Bird
4. Time in Babylon
5. Can You Hear Me Now
6. Strong Hand (Just One Miracle)
7. Jupiter Rising
8. O Evangeline
9. Plaisir d'Amour
10. Lost Unto This World
11. Here I Am (Reprise)
12. Cup of Kindness

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Already one of contemporary music's legendary voices, the recipient of multiple Grammy Awards and a Billboard Century Award winner when Nonesuch signed her in 1999, Emmylou Harris' Red Dirt Girl- her first release for the label- marked a watershed moment as a Grammy-winning success and her best selling solo album in 20 yrs. With continued visibily as a member of the much-celebrated "O Brother" and "Down from the Mountain" caravan tours, and now with a September run of dates with Neil Young, her career is on a sustained high. Stumble Into Grace is espceially notable for some of the singers who lend their voices and collaborate with Emmyin its songwriting. The new album leads off with the uptempo radio focus track "Here I Am" with Julie Miller as co-writer and featured vocalist. A standout ballad is the poignant "Strong Hand" written in the tribute to June Carter Cash and sung with Linda Ronstadt, Jan Siberry joins Harris on the haunting "I Will Dream" and "Lost Unto This World," while the delicate strains of "Little Bird" and the traditional "Plasir d'Amour" are complemented by Kate and Anna McGarrigle's accompanying vocals; the former was also co-written by McGarrigles. Both are a counterpoint to the stronger rhythmic pulse of "Time In Babylon" and "Jupiter Rising."

Twenty-eight years after her major label debut, Emmylou Harris remains as vital, electric, and bold an artist as the young woman who moved to Nashville in the early ‘70s. But where she once carried on Gram Parsons’ vision of wedding hardcore country to contemporary rhythms, for the past decade Harris has explored an acoustic sonic landscape rooted in folk, yet set apart by driving percussion, world-music elements, and gauzy and ethereal vocals. Stumble Into Grace follows the Grammy-winning Red Dirt Girl with an even bleaker and beautiful collection of songs, almost all of which she wrote or co-wrote. Two songs concern themselves with social commentary, the slant-eyed "Time In Babylon" (co-written with Jill Cuniff of Luscious Jackson), poking a stick in the eye of designer fashions and TV culture, and the affecting "Lost Unto This World" framing scenes of female genocide throughout the ages. Yet much of the program has an Emily Dickinson quality about it, as if told from the point of view of a woman looking back on her past life, realizing it is almost over, and finding herself nearly crazed from lost opportunity, lost loves, and loneliness. Even her elegy to June Carter Cash, "Strong Hand," where Linda Ronstadt guests, centers on the "miracle of how one soul finds another." A poetic spirituality lifts up even the most hopeless lyric, as do the otherworldly background vocals (Julie Miller, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, and Jane Siberry) and producer Malcolm Burn’s haunting instrumental touches (a Cuban churanga and a deftly-placed accordion, which offers a sympathetic wheeze). At 57, Harris may be square in the middle stages of chronological life, but as a performer, she is still in the forefront of genre-transcending artistry. --Alanna Nash

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
123 of 130 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the future of folk music October 9, 2003
Format:Audio CD
The fascinating thing about the recent spate of Emmylou Harris recordings is the way in which she pushes at the boundaries of traditional music while still staying true to it's emotional core. For all it's subtle world-music touches, the music on this albums remains as raw-boned and rural as a smoked Virginia ham. Each of Emmylou's recent albums has explored different facets of the Folk music Canon, and to my ears, this is her Spirituals album. Rather than simply regurgitating a bunch of hoary old mountain hymns, she has blessed us with a clutch of original songs, meditations on love and loss and letting go.
If you live any kind of examined life, there comes a point where you do seek a certain grace in going forward, especially as you grow older and realise there is suddenly less time than there is more. There is nothing depressing about this. It's just part of living, and this album captures the emotional core of these feelings perfectly. Bottom line, this is a tremendous album by an artist at the top of her game and is more than worthy of your attention.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An artist of integrity December 29, 2003
Format:Audio CD
Whatever one may think of her recent work, Emmylou Harris has always been true to her artistic self. When mainstream country turned away from her (much to country's loss, in my opinion), she gracefully let it go in favor of making her own unique kind of music.
It can't be said that Harris has gotten stuck in a rut, either. This latest album is different in sound from her last, "Red Dirt Girl," and in some ways more appealing. There is more variety to the productions of the songs (most authored or co-authored by Harris), with an effort to include a greater range of sounds and timbres in the instrumental backgrounds. Not surprisingly, some of the most appealing tracks are those where this variety comes to the fore, such as the somewhat Celtic sounds of "Little Bird" or the accordion/fiddle combination that lends an agreeably Cajun cast to her rendition of the traditional "Plaisir d'amour," throwing unexpected light on the French words.
The core of Harris' voice has darkened in timbre and shortened in range over the years, and one or two of the songs display a tendency to hang out in the lowest octave, muttering gloomy thoughts, that made "Red Dirt Girl" a somewhat depressing listening experience overall. Happily, the artist seems determined not to let the same pall fall over this outing, though there is now a noticeable break between her low and high registers. She turns even this to her advantage, though, in passages of ethereally lovely harmonizations with her sympathetic assisting artists.
On the evidence of this CD, music fans should stick with Emmylou Harris for the duration. There's a lot of good music in her yet.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impossibly Beautiful! September 30, 2003
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
My guess is that if you are reading this review, you are already a fan. You already know that Emmylou is in a class by herself and is impossible to classify. Labels like country, rock, bluegrass or folk simply don't apply. Her music is all of that but also goes way beyond any of those definitions. This new CD is exquisitely beautiful and a must buy. These songs are almost like prayers. They are filled with grace, love and passion. They bring tears to your eyes and put a smile in your heart.

This is the 4th Emmylou CD since she broke all conventions and found her own voice. What started with Wrecking Ball, Spyboy and Red Dirt Girl is now fully realized. If you loved her because of her links to Gram Parsons, you will love her even more now that she has emerged from his shadow. This is the music she was destined to make and somewhere in heaven Gram Parsons is smiling.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful & Timeless.... September 28, 2003
Format:Audio CD
I was looking forward to this collection, read some great reviews and after repeated listens its such a perfect way to
start my day, or end it for that matter. No one has the quality
and aching vocals that Emmylou Harris puts across and with this
superlative collection of laments concerning life and its trials & sorrows. Nice little musical touches throughout make
these songs stronger. Hard to classify by todays standards(Its not a country cd, its not pop/rock but a hybrid Emmy has been
working with and refining over the years, a third in a series
of similar feel helped along with the talents of Malcom Burns, and Daniel Lanois as well as beautiful background singing from Linda Ronstadt, Janie Siberry, the McGarrigle sisters. I could envision listening to this years and years from now.
Timeless with delicate, beautifully written songs. I would go so far to call this classic, one of
my favorites from Emmylou because of its flow from beginning to end,
pure etheral, harmonious dedication to a quality and standard
that puts this talented angelic singer in a class all to herself. It grows on you with each listen and at this time of
year with harvesting/holidays, family get togethers & waning of the days in full swing, we can reflect on life and all that we have in this country and enjoy this classy gem.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Youth is overrated... November 3, 2003
Format:Audio CD
A lot of fuss has been made over the fact that Emmylou Harris is in her late 50's and creating some of the best music of her career. One periodical mentioned her age no less than five times in a single article before finally apologizing for "harping on it". People seem amazed at the idea that "old people can make music" or "be creative". There is probably no better time in life to be creative than late in life, and Emmylou Harris is a shining example of this. She seems to be finding her own voice late in life, which is a nice gift for anybody.
Harris' catalog consists mostly of brilliant country/bluegrass albums filled with songs written by other people. Her last two albums have been comprised of songs written mosty by herself and are by no stretch of the imagination country albums. There's probably an interesting story behind why her own compositions mostly move away from country and into more of the rock/pop/alternative genre. Seeing that she had been recording mostly country music since the early-mid 1970s this is even more astonishing, but the change was probably also necessary to move forward and find a voice for her own songs. Change can be good, but some of her diehard country fans probably felt alienated.
Harris' past two albums (this one and "Red Dirt Girl") have similar moods and explore some similar themes.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
fabulous cd
Published 1 month ago by Jane M. Crane
5.0 out of 5 stars Something different......
Emmylou Harris has long been my favorite female singer, she lit up my life through the late 70's and on into the 80's. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Jean Brandt
4.0 out of 5 stars Celestial Beauty
I write this on the day following the death of one of mid-century America's great voices, Phil Everly. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Timothy Hallinan
2.0 out of 5 stars Stumble Into Snoozeland - BORING
Emmylou is on a roll to put the world to sleep! I thought Wrecking Ball was ok with some really great songs and several duds - the production was muddy but fit several of the... Read more
Published 22 months ago by MJH
4.0 out of 5 stars Songs that Grow on you
As stated by previous reviewers, it may take some time for this album two sink in. There are no obvious hits, but here are some incredibly delicate ballads some of which may well... Read more
Published on July 28, 2010 by Morten Vindberg
5.0 out of 5 stars "...another long night to be alone.."
The longer Emmylou continues,the better she gets.This,in my opinion, is the best album that she has made and the main reason for that is ,since she wrote most of the songs,we hear... Read more
Published on April 6, 2007 by J. Guild
3.0 out of 5 stars Stumbling Toward Ecstasy
Not convinced with her previous efforts [Wrecking Ball too spacey, Red Dirt Girl too art-house] why she doesn't stick to her goldmine inherencies [as the greatest backup singer of... Read more
Published on December 23, 2005 by jeffrey christian
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty, but...
Emmylou Harris looks positively angelic on the cover, and that's a tip-off to the kind of music to be found here: angelic and pristine, but unfortunately, a bit short on passion. Read more
Published on October 4, 2004 by B. Niedt
5.0 out of 5 stars I stumbled onto Emmy Lou's album by grace
I am not a music critic. I listen to what speaks honestly about values and experiences in my own life. Read more
Published on August 14, 2004 by Mare99
1.0 out of 5 stars confusing album
All the "songs" on this album sound alike, same cadence and just what do the words mean? Emmylou, please go back to what you do best, country. Remember, GP still lives!
Published on August 12, 2004 by AL.W PITTMAN
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