1975 and 1976 had been breakthrough years for Emmylou Harris, giving her two Top 10 country albums and four hit singles. Now recognised as the queen of country rock, she was much in demand as a backing vocalist, and made guest appearances on albums by Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Linda Ronstadt and Guy Clark. She recorded her next album throughout 1976. At this time guitarist James Burton left The Hot Band to go and work with Elvis, and he was replaced by English guitarist Albert Lee. The rest of The Hot Band consisted of pedal steel guitarist Hank DeVito, rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist Rodney Crowell, pianist Glenn D. Hardin, bassist Emory Gordy and drummer John Ware.
Luxury Liner came out in 1977, and like her first two records it showcased stellar performances of an impressive repertoire of cover material. The songs included those by Gram Parsons, Townes Van Zandt, Chuck Berry, The Louvin Brothers, The Carter Family and Jimmy Work. It also had two new numbers by Hot Band member Rodney Crowell. Guest musicians included bluegrass multi-instrumentalist Ricky Skaggs, dobro player Mike Auldridge, harmonica player Mickey Raphael and singer Nicolette Larson (who duetted with Harris on The Carter Family's "Hello Stranger"). The highlight of the album was without a doubt her outstanding cover of Townes Van Zandt's enigmatic outlaw song "Pancho And Lefty".
The album got to #1 on the country chart, and ended up being her biggest selling record. It also generated another two Top 10 country singles - Chuck Berry's "You Never Can Tell" (#6) and Jimmy Work's "Making Believe" (#8). That same year she also married her producer, Brian Ahern.
Elite Hotel (1975) <|> Quarter Moon In A Ten Cent Town (1978)
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