Emmylou Harris, members of her famed Hot Band—Hank DeVito, Glen D. Hardin, and John Ware—and producer Brian Ahern come together on stage for this 2016 interview at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, discussing their musical chemistry and sharing early career memories in support of the exhibition “Emmylou Harris: Songbird’s Flight.”
Piano player Glen D. Hardin talks about being invited to be a part of the Hot Band when he was playing for Elvis Presley. Drummer John Ware was also otherwise employed, but remembers hearing that Hardin and guitar player James Burton—both in Presley’s band—had already joined, and knowing he had to say yes too. Then new to Los Angeles, pedal steel guitarist Hank DeVito heard through Linda Ronstadt that Harris was forming a band, auditioned, and made the cut.
Ahern and Harris describe the song-selection process for her first record, “Pieces of the Sky,” and how Ahern brought then-unknown singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell to her attention. Crowell became a member of the Hot Band, and Harris ended up recording many of his songs during her career, including “Pieces of the Sky” track “Bluebird Wine.”
The Hot Band members describe their immediate collective chemistry (which included bassist Emory Gordy Jr.), and Harris remembers convincing her record label to allow the studio musicians to be her touring band, too (an atypical request). They talk about spontaneity in the studio, and the unique experience of recording with Ahern’s Enactron Truck mobile recording setup.
Harris goes on to say that, even back then, she knew that she and the Hot Band were creating something special.
Presented in support of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum exhibition “Emmylou Harris: Songbird’s Flight” (October 5, 2018, through August 4, 2019).
Find out more about our public programming: https://countrymusichalloffame.org/plan-your-visit/exhibits-activities/public-programs/
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