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'She is a goddess': Emmylou Harris brings her unique style of music to UNC


Emmylou Harris will perform at Memorial Hall, hosted by Carolina Performing Arts, on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. Photo courtesy of Veronique Rolland. 

Thirteen-time Grammy Award winner Emmylou Harris will be performing at Memorial Hall on Nov. 8. This event is one of many by female artists this season through Carolina Performing Arts and is now sold out. 

“She is a goddess,” said Michael Dawson, long-time Emmylou Harris fan.  

The concert is part of her current tour and will begin at 8 p.m. Harris will be the sole performer at this event, along with her band.

Harris is known for having a unique style of music that is neither country nor folk, but something alternative in between, said Christina Rodriguez, associate director of marketing and communications at Carolina Performing Arts.  

Harris’s upcoming performance is significant to the 15th anniversary of Carolina Performing Arts, which coincides with the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. 

“A lot of the programming really focuses on the creative leadership of women and features lots of performances by women who are known to be icons or rebels,” Rodriguez said. “Emmylou Harris is an amazing example of those, so we thought she really fit in perfectly.” 

“She was a big part of the outlaw country scene,” said UNC student Andrew Hill. “It’s really cool how she is one of those people that are actually still alive.”

Many of Harris’s songs were made in remembrance of significant people in her life. She has written songs about her grandchild, the late-singer songwriter Kate McGarrigle and even her dog. 

“I think she is a very genuine songwriter,” Hill said.

Additionally, Harris dedicated a song to her mentor Gram Parsons titled “The Road.” For a significant period of Harris’ career, she performed with Parsons. 

“I really hope that she performs some of the songs that she recorded with Gram Parsons back when they were a duet,” Hill said. “Anything that they did together would be really cool to hear.” 

Dawson said he is excited to go to the concert this Saturday and that this is not the first Emmylou Harris concert he has been to.

“When I got to college, the very first day I met my roommate, we were talking about music, and he pulls out Emmylou Harris's 'Elite Hotel,' which I had never listened to,” Dawson said. “I fell in love immediately.” 

Rodriguez said she encourages anyone who is a fan of Harris to come out to the concert this Friday. 

“Harris is such an icon," Rodriguez said. "This is such a rare opportunity to see her live."

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