Blue Kentucky Girl (Remastered)

Blue Kentucky Girl (Remastered)

To the contemporary listener, Emmylou Harris’ hit album Blue Kentucky Girl might not feel radically different from the loose, mostly acoustic sounds of her first five albums (and indeed, it had the same producer, and a backing band full of familiar faces). But after the album’s 1979 release, Blue Kentucky Girl was perceived as Harris’ full pivot into country. And there is a decided emphasis on leaning into traditional sounds here, in contrast to the so-called progressive country and Laurel Canyon-rock leanings of her previous work. From the title track (which had been a hit for Loretta Lynn years earlier) to the hit “Beneath Still Waters” (which finds Harris tracing the common ground between Cajun accordion and Appalachian bluegrass), Blue Kentucky Girl is steeped in classics, all of them reinterpreted through Harris’ fresh, timeless lens. It’s also the album that showcases Harris’ omnivorous, enthusiastic approach to collaboration, across a wide span of musical styles. Willie Nelson’s “Sister’s Coming Home,” from his 1974 album Phases and Stages, is brightly interpreted by Harris and Tanya Tucker, while Harris and the White sisters join in stunning bluegrass-tinged harmony for noted folklorist Jean Ritchie’s “Sorrow in the Wind.” Blue Kentucky Girl also features duets with such legends as Don Everly and Glen Campbell—but they take a back seat to possibly the most noteworthy track on the album: “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues,” Harris’ first released recording with both Linda Ronstadt and Dolly Parton. The stunning alchemy of these three stars’ instantly recognizable voices only whetted fans’ appetites for more—and would eventually lead to their iconic 1987 album, Trio. Taken together, Blue Kentucky Girl is yet another testament to Harris’ ability to bridge musical worlds, one that finds her gathering talented collaborators, pairing them with old and new songs, and simply letting the music happen—always to unforced and classic effect.

Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada