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Emmylou Harris And The Nash Ramblers, 'Mystery Train (Live)'

When did Emmylou Harris officially become Queen of Nashville? I'd argue it's when she assembled the Nash Ramblers, an all-star, bluegrass-leaning acoustic band, featuring genre-shifting players Sam Bush, Al Perkins and more, that took Harris' Cali country rock back down South and showed off her ability to light the most traditional repertoire on fire. The Nash Ramblers saved Ryman Auditorium, country's Mother Church fallen into disarray, with a famous concert back in 1992; the show's recording was long thought to be the group's only full-concert document, but just-issued Ramble in Music City: The Lost Concert shows the band hitting off its first tour in 1990 and bowing over another Nashville audience with gospel rave-ups, virtuoso reworkings of Harris' earlier Hot Band favorites and lively covers such as this breakneck version of "Mystery Train," a Junior Parker and Elvis Presley classic.

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Ann Powers is NPR Music's critic and correspondent. She writes for NPR's music news blog, The Record, and she can be heard on NPR's newsmagazines and music programs.
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