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Emmylou Harris takes her Belfast fans on a trip down country road

Emmylou Harris - Waterfront Hall

By Terry Blain

It's 40 years since Emmylou Harris made her breakthrough, singing on the late, great Gram Parsons' pair of solo albums.

Now 66, she shows little sign of easing back the throttle.

Her Waterfront appearance is the fourth date in a European tour lasting all of May, for which she's joined by long-time collaborator Rodney Crowell.

The huge impact of the Parsons legacy is immediately acknowledged in the opening two numbers, Return Of The Grievous Angel and Wheels, the Flying Burrito Brothers classic.

Not all of Harris's harmony singing is accurate, and her delivery is more narrowly country in style than it used to be. The basic quality of the voice is largely intact.

Her new album with Crowell, Old Yellow Moon, features prominently after the interval. Its impact is compromised a little by an indifferent sound mix.

The overall effect is a little muted. Her Belfast show's a good one, but falls a little short of inspired greatness.

THREE STARS

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