emmylou harris

emmylou harris

The Darkest Hour Is Just Before Dawn

1w ago
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Descriptionwritten by Ralph Stanley recorded by Emmylou Harris and Ricky Skaggs Why do I like the, slow, soft songs so much? For a long, long, time now the pattern in country music has been to play faster tunes that sound more intricate and complicated. Most people seem to think that the faster you can play the hard parts, the better the instrumentalist you must be. I'm not sure if that is exactly true. In many cases it is easier to cover up your mistakes amongst a flurry a musical notes. Even the experienced players sometimes get caught up in this need for speed. But music isn't a race track where the winner is determined by who finishes first. It's about relaying a story or a message and having the listener understand what you said and how you meant it. It's as much about the feelings as it is about the words. When you have your foot to the floor there is little time to inject that feeling into the song, much less, expect that the listener to appreciate it. I have never deigned that I'm an old school musician. I believe in the story with in the song. For me, if you can't get that right, there is no point even singing the song. Every instrumental, every pause for effect, is inserted into my music to slow the song down and give the listener time to contemplate the meaning of the words and the mood of the tune. I'm not a fancy musician. I'm a very basic guitarist. I keep my picking simple and basic but I try to touch the strings of the listener's heart. As Hank said 'Have you paid your dues, can you moan the blues and can you bend them guitar strings?' Folks this isn't the Daytona Speedway. It's not who finishes first but who can get inside the hearts and souls of music fans who win the loyalty of country music listeners. Maybe its time we moved a little ways back towards slower, more emotional music. O.K. Its time I got down off my soap box and introduced this tune. Written by one of the great legends of bluegrass, Ralph Stanley, 'The Darkest Hour Is Just Before Dawn' is a beautiful old inspirational, gospel, song. It is a perfect example of a soft, slow piece that loses nothing of intricacies in it meandering pace. When performed by artists that take the time to fill out the song with the emotion it demands, it almost can not be beat in its genera. Emmylou Harris and Ricky Skaggs are just a couple of famous artists that have been unable to resist covering this great song. Listen to my cover of 'The Darkest Hour Is Just Before Dawn' and maybe you'll see what I mean when I say that slow, soft spoken music just can not be beat.