Although it is no secret that Emmylou Harris is one of the modern era's most prolific guest vocalists, it's only when you see her appearances laid out one after the other that you realize just how many other performers have called upon her over the years -- a gamut that runs from Linda Ronstadt to Little Feat, from Bob Dylan to Bonnie Raitt.
The first of two simultaneously released volumes that only begin to scrape the surface of Harris' catalog of duets, Singin' With Emmylou concentrates on her contemporary country contributions -- and thus omits all of the above. Listeners do, however, encounter trysts with the likes of Willie Nelson, Dan Fogelberg, George Jones, and Lyle Lovett, while her scorching partnership with Gram Parsons is captured via a 1971 live recording.
Lesser-known collaborations with the Pure Prairie League and actress Mary Kay Place, meanwhile, transport listeners back to 1975-1976, as Harris herself first began stepping into the public gaze, and provide this album with two of its hottest highlights; Jon Randall and Kathy Mattea then rate among the lesser-known names to bring the story into the 1990s. But, though not every performer has the greatest name recognition, the cohesion introduced by Harris' own presence ensures Singin' With Emmylou passes with barely a misplaced footstep.