Archive For September 29, 2016

Emily and Ron’s Final Duet


At the Pulaski Depot, Emily and Ron sang their final duet together on August 23rd.  It was a partnership that ended much too quickly, especially for Emily, who was devastated at the abrupt retirement of her dear friend, mentor and accompanist.  We were both constantly amazed at Ron’s ability to play anything anytime anywhere, which enabled Emily to sing whatever she wanted whenever she wanted.

The last two shows at which they performed together warranted two new songs.  The Bob Dylan classic made famous by Johnny and June Carter Cash, “It Ain’t Me, Babe” was one Emily had originally wanted to do as a duet, but after one go, Ron insisted that it be an Emily solo with only his harmonizing on the chorus.  Emily wasn’t happy with this decision, but she went along with it and did a beautiful job, both at this final show and at the Bolling Wilson Hotel in Wytheville on August 10th.  She sang with the pure angelic tone that matches both her inner and outer self.

The other new song was the classic blues tune from Elmore James, “It Hurts Me Too,” which showcased the grit and power to my beautiful wife’s equally enthralling voice.  She has such a wonderful gift and the crowds seemed to be every bit as moved by her voice as I, her partial, but critically honest husband.  Her face lights up with a certain glow that can only be illuminated when she is singing.  Her listeners get lit up, too.

Unfortunately, Ron’s retirement has left Emily without an opportunity to share her gift with the public.  Thus, that light has left her face.  While we will never expect to find a guitar player as good or versatile…or certainly as generous as Ron Ireland, we need to find someone who wants to play as badly as she wants to sing.  This isn’t about money, although every little bit helps right now. This is about have a passion for a blessing that is inside of you and the desire to express that from your heart.  Emily has that passion and this is where we, as the listeners, become the beneficiaries.  Many like myself can only dream of possessing a fraction of the talent that Emily has as a singer.  Yet, with no proper outlet, both she and we are losing out.  As discouraged as she is, I kept telling her that the best and most timeless musicians came from the toughest of journeys.  Hers is just beginning.

As you will hear in her CD, comprised of the best songs from her first two appearances at the Bolling Wilson Hotel, Emily has plenty of soul in her voice.  I’ve been a music critic longer than I have been so husband.  So, I feel I make that statement with some sense of credibility, but I’m asking you to be the judge by checking it out here.  If you’re a guitar player, do us all a favor and help Emily make the music she deserves to sing.  The reward will most assuredly belong to those of us who are blessed enough to hear it.

My interview with Grammy nominee Bettye LaVette

My interview with Colin Mochrie of WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?