Emmylou Harris is celebrating the 25th anniversary and rerelease of her live album “‘Emmylou Harris and The Nash Ramblers at The Ryman.” Instead of playing a song from the album, she covered a Steve Earle classic, “Pilgrim”, dedicated to the more than 65 million displaced persons across the globe.
By 1992, the Ryman Auditorium had fallen into disrepair. It was so bad fans feared the historic building would be condemned and torn down. Emmylou Harris wouldn’t let that happen, and chose to play a series of concerts at the Ryman with her newly formed acoustic backing band, The Nash Ramblers. Those concerts not only led to a GRAMMY-winning live album, but also to the restoration of The Mother Church of Country Music.
Now, 25 years later, Harris is still playing music that matters, recalling classic songs and paying tribute to people and places unseen. “Pilgrim” is not on her album, but Harris played the tune anyway on “The Late Show” to bring attention to all of the displaced, abandoned, and war torn people that are far too often ignored.
Comparing Emmylou’s performance on “The Late Show” to the one 25 years ago shows that she hasn’t lost the talent and charisma that saved the Ryman.