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At the Ryman Live

4.9 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Live, January 14, 1992
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Recorded live at the original Grand Ole Opry building (the Ryman Auditorium) from April 30, 1991 to May 2, 1991. The generous set reaches all the way back to the 19th century for Stephen Foster's "Hard Times," also touching on cowboy songs "Cattle Call," "Montana Cowgirl", honky tonk "Half As Much", gospel "Get Up, John", bluegrass "Walls of Time", and modern traditionalism "Guitar Town". Harris also manages to nod toward rock (Bruce Springsteen's "Mansion on the Hill," John Fogerty's "Lodi") without breaking stride. Throughout, her band provide seamless, effortlessly virtuosic support. At the Ryman is a great album from one of modern country's greatest artists. [Note: This product is an authorized CD-R and is manufactured on demand]

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While live recordings can be treasured mementos for those who were present at the show, they're often substandard versions of favorite material. The live At the Ryman avoids this by covering the material of artists who've influenced Harris's music, rather than concentrating on her own hits. From Steve Earle and Bill Monroe to the Everly Brothers and Creedence Clearwater Revival, her choices are solid and sometimes unexpected (Bruce Springsteen). Harris's love of the music--and appreciation for the audience--shines through in these performances. The songs may have been done better elsewhere (most notably by the songwriters) and Emmy's delivery is at times uneven (as with any live performance), but the talented, fun-loving, all-acoustic Nash Ramblers do much to compensate. --Alexandra Russell
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 14, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Reprise
  • ASIN: B000002LQF
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,300 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kenneth M. Gelwasser VINE VOICE on August 6, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I've been listening to and enjoying Emmylou Harris's live album "At the Ryman" for a number of years.It had been a good while since I last heard it and the thought occurred to me too put it on tape for the car (yes, I know, I'm way behind in the technology department..). Relistening to it made me once again appreciate what a wonderful live album it really is.The CD is culled from some 1991 performances at the historic, world famous, Ryman Auditorium, which is basically considered "the Mother church" of country music.On this CD Emmy and her band, The Nash Ramblers, concentrate their efforts on interpretations of cover tunes from song writers/performers that have influenced her career. This includes everyone from rocker, Bruce Springsteen to folkie/country artist, Nanci Griffith to the father of Bluegrass music, Bill Monroe.The CD opens with a rousing version of Steve Earle's "Guitar Town". The music is high spirited and lively. Emmylou and the band really cook! Probably my favorite cut of the album is a performance of Stephen Foster's civil war era tune, "Hard Times".This is a sentimental, song, where one stops for a moment to remember those who are less fortunate. Emmylou and the members of the band join their voices (acompanied by a lone guitar) and pull it off beautifully.Another highlight is Emmy's interpretation of Nanci Griffith's "It's A Hard Life Wherever You Go".Here Emmylou reveals her former days as a 1960s folk singer. This gentle song is at first nostalgic, but then eventually reveals it's pity and rage against those who commit acts of racism.The song then morphs into the sad '60s era ode to our fallen civil rights leaders "Abraham, Martin and "John". Emmylou's performance is simply beautiful.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
On this magical live album, Emmylou and the Nash Ramblers pay tribute to the very old (Stephen Foster), the new (Steve Earle, John Fogerty and Bruce Springsteen) and bluegrass legend Bill Monroe, with covers of three of his songs. Of course, the album is a seamless blend of the old and the new.

The music goes from uptempo country rock like Earle's Guitar Town, to lovely yodelling as on Cattle Call, the Tex Owens song. There is also the lovely lilting country pop of Guess Things Happen That Way, the sensitive treatment of Springsteen's Mansion On The Hill and the thrilling instrumental Scotland, the first of the Monroe numbers.

Emmylou talks a bit more between songs here than on her other brilliant live album, the great Spyboy. The playing is superb throughout, as in the buoyant Montana Cowgirl, the slow and melancholy ballad like Strangers (first recorded by the Everly Brothers), and the propulsive Lodi, the old Creedence hit.

A highlight of At The Ryman is the soul stirring Calling My Children Home, just Emmylou and the male backing vocals. This one reminds me of the biblical expression about Rachel weeping for her children, because they're there no more. Next, there is the most beautiful guitar picking on If I Could Be There, a tender love song.

Walls Of Time and Get Up John are both energetic Monroe compositions, performed with feeling and gusto. The medley of Hard Life and Abraham, Martin and John is done in a more folkie style and her voice really soars here. The album concludes with the rhythmic train song, Smoke Along The Track.

At The Ryman is a triumph of excellent material interpreted with expertise and feeling. The CD booklet contains background notes by Emmylou on this performance plus photographs and information on her and the members of the Nash Ramblers.
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Format: Audio CD
I would *LOVE* to get this entire concert on audio and video. I have a ticket to see Emmylou in concert this month, but I already know it won't be anything like this. This performance is pure country soul, and the band is just incredible. I love not only Emmylou's "Wrecking Ball" sound, but I love even more her more traditional country side. This album and "Roses in the Snow" are the two best examples of Emmylou as a venerable country artiste.
Her vocals here are even better than studio recordings, and this band brings it all together so impeccably. I have so much fun with this album, yet I take a break near the end and cry with Nanci Griffith's beautiful "It's a Hard Life Wherever You Go" (which segues into a beautiful rendition of "Abraham, Martin, and John"). I could say more and more about this, but some of the previous reviews capture it.
If you're on the fence about buying this album, just buy it and love it; you wouldn't be reading this if you weren't already curious and interested. And it will deliver. It is really golden. I hope I get to see Emmylou play with a band like this some day. I'd love to kick up some "hillbilly dust" with them.
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Format: Audio CD
There has been nonsense perpetuated in the media about someone like Kathy Lee Gifford being "America's Sweetheart", but we know who's REALLY earned the title now don't we? `Nuff said. On this live concert CD recorded at Nashville's Ryman Theater, Emmylou and the steeped in bluegrass Nash Ramblers, in the great American tradition, dig out nuggets from the cultural stew and make them fresh, relevant, and their own, while blowing away cobwebs of preconceived genres. Hence Stephen Foster's 1850 classic, "Hard Times" sounds just right next door to Bruce Springsteen's 1982 "Mansion On The Hill". Along the way there are songs by Steve Earle, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Everly Brothers, Nancy Griffith, several by bluegrass titan Bill Monroe, as well as various 1940s and 1950s country songs that I had not known, but was pleased to make their acquaintance. The acoustic guitar, standup bass, dobro, and fiddle work well with the filigree of Harris' silvery smoky soprano voice which as always is a remarkable harmony instrument itself. There probably wasn't a dry eye in the house after she and the boys unload two heartbreakers in a row: the acappella "Calling My Children Home", and the melancholy dobro tune "If I Could Be There". To top it off, in the finest country tradition, they all ride off into the sunset with "...a little train music" ("Smoke Along The Track"). Kathy Lee Gifford, tsk, yea right.
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