Emmylou Harris - vocals, guitar; Hank DiVito - pedal steel; James Burton - guitar; Herb Pedersen - banjo; Glen Hardin - piano; Emory Gordy - bass; John Ware - drums
This very early live recording of Emmylou Harris and the Hot Band was made at London's New Victoria Theater, when the budding country-rocker was still an opening act.
Only 26-minutes long, the set is still a very good overview of what Harris and the early "Hots" sounded like. Harris was discovered singing in a Washington bar in 1972 by former Byrd Chris Hillman, who was then fronting The Flying Burrito Brothers. The Burritos had just lost Gram Parson (another ex-Byrd member), who had departed to record a solo album for Warner Brothers. In the end, Hillman referred Harris to Parsons, who immediately hired her for his solo band. She toured with him and made two albums until 1973, when Parson died abruptly from an overdose, the story of which she chronicled in the original song "Boulder To Birmingham," included here.
Upon Parsons' death, Harris met and eventually married record producer Brian Ahern, who encouraged her to do a solo album and form a band. The Hot Band was made up of the best L.A. and Memphis session players (James Burton had played guitar for Elvis), and future members would include Rodney Crowell, Ricky Scaggs and Albert Lee.
This show encompasses a wide variety of material over its short length, including Harris' country remake of the Smokey Robinson and The Miracles classic "Shop Around," The Louvin Brothers' "If Only I Could Win Your Love," her arrangement of Merle Haggard's "The Bottle Let Me Down" and, of course, material written by Gram Parsons.