Emmylou Harris – Telluride Bluegrass Festival, CO

Sam Bush came out to introduce Emmylou and her band which included members of the Seldom Scene and John Starling.

He joked that Emmylou loves the festival so much that she comes to sing even when she’s not hired to do so and that they call her (jokingly) the “Telluride Harmony ‘Ho” but that Don Imus made it so he couldn’t say “harmony” over the microphone.

Roses in the Snow

“Pleasure to be here, again!”

Blue Kentucky Girl

“A little blue Colorado girl, or whatever it is.”

One of These Days

“Here’s a song that when the Seldom Scene and I and several other D.C. bands all had a regular night at the Red Fox Inn in Bethesda, Maryland. You’d do 4 shows between 8 and 12 for the same audience – they weren’t as attentive as you folks – (“and they was shooting pool in the back,” John added) Shooting pool, it was foosball, John. I think this song opened up the first of my four sets.”


“Yeah, well I got out of there. Here’s a James Taylor song.”


“Ricky Simpkins over there on the fiddle.”

“Thank you James Taylor,” John said.

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

“Thanks so much, we got some fine weather this weekend for Telluride. The great thing about you folks is that I’ve been here for many years and no matter how bad the weather gets, you’re still out there listening! God bless you! Here’s a Louvin Brother’s song, this was actually a top five country song for me, many years ago when the earth’s crust was still warm, as John Duffy used to say.”

If I Could Only Win Your Love

“Thank you very much.”

span class=”song”>Sweet Old World

“This is just an old-timey gospel song.”

“We used to say, ‘I don’t know how religious we are but we’re religious about religious music.'” John said. “We like gospel music.”

“That’s right, John.”

If I Be Lifted Up

Born To Run

“Thank you! Over here on the dobro, an original member of the Seldom Scene and really the connoisseur of the dobro, Mr. Mike Auldrige. The namesake of John Starling and the Carolina Star, also an original member of the Seldom Scene, they were seen too seldom, Mr. John Starling. And also a member of the Seldom Scene and also of the Country Gentlemen, keeping us steady on the bass, Mr. Tom Gray. And I’m gonna keep a fellow out here who’s playing everything, singing all those great harmonies, Mr. Ricky Simpkins. John and the band, Carolina Star have a really great record out called ‘Sliding Home,’ you should check it out. Ricky Simpkins, the other guy, did I not introduce him? Ricky’s gonna help me out on this one, it’s a little song I wrote about the red dirt girl.”

Red Dirt Girl

“Thank you. Gonna bring the fellows out.”

Pancho and Lefty

“I learned a lot of music, when I was living in D.C. and working at the clubs like the Red Fox Inn and we would get together in John’s living room in Bethesda and play music all night long. Of course these guys had day jobs. I don’t know how they did it.”

“Pick ’til four in the morning and then go make rounds,” John laughed.

“I’m glad I wasn’t one of your patients, John. So anyway, this is a song that John taught me, it’s an old Louvin Brothers song, they’re all old I guess, and I brought John out and Mike out to California when we were making the record and we did this in the comfort of an (Echtron?) truck and we’re gonna do it for you know.”

Mike said something about Irishmen and their songs.

Satan’s Jeweled Crow

“I think I will take a short break, we’ll get a little oxygen, a little water and we’ll be ready.” John said.

“We’ll bring you back, John.”

Green Pastures

“Hey Mike, kick off another one for us.”


“I see people out there dancing, alright! This is a good one for the dance floor, ladies choice we’ll make it.”

Making Believe

“John’s gonna lead us in another gospel song.”

John said something about capos and Emmy said, “You’re a double capo man there, John? We’ve had a great time, we’re gonna do a couple more songs for you. Both my daughters are here, my brother is here for the first time and he’s the biggest fan of country and bluegrass music I’ve ever know. My great friends from D.C. and my cousin, my dearest friend from college – she was the only one who would put up with me listening to Bob Dylan records in the freshman dorm. So anyway, all my favorite people are here.”

They did a count-in and it failed.
“What kind of a count-off was that, John!?” Emmy exclaimed when nobody started.


Calling My Children Home

“Alright, we’re gonna end with a little song that started off life as a Bill Monroe instrumental and ended up as this. Sammy’s (Bush) gonna kick it off and we’ve had a great time playing for you. Enjoy the rest of the festival, it’s the best festival in the world and you’re the greatest audience!”

Get Up John

“Thanks to Sam Bush! This is Ricky Simpkins, Tom Gray back here on the bass, John Starling, and Mike Auldrige thank you so much, it’s such a joy to play with these great musicians.”

Photos by Nichole Wagner

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