Loretta Lynn has “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” George Jones had “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”
But for 12-time Grammy Award-winning country/folk legend Emmylou Harris, a signature song is up for discussion simply because of her longevity and genre-crossing music.
“There are some artists you can pinpoint their anthem, but Emmylou is not that artist,” said Chris Mautz, who arranges the summer concert series at Red Butte Garden. “It’s really a stunning, remarkable career and she has sustained an amazing quality all the way through.”
Depending on your age — or mood — your favorite Harris song could be “If I Could Only Win Your Love” from her early years, “To Know Him Is to Love Him” from the 1980s or “Didn’t Leave Nobody but the Baby,” which she performed with Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch for the soundtrack of the 2000 movie “O Brother Where Art Thou.”
Utah fans likely will hear those songs, and more, when Harris opens Red Butte’s 2014 outdoor concert series — with 29 shows this season.
It’s Harris’ third time on Salt Lake City’s most popular outdoor stage. She came in 2004 with the The Sweet Harmony Traveling Revue, sharing the stage with Patty Griffin, Buddy Miller, Welch and David Rawlings. And she returned in 2008 with her Red Dirt Band.
Those two performances — like Tuesday’s show — sold out.
“She is one of the most recognizable voices in all of music: country, Americana, pop, she covers a lot of different genres,” said Mautz. “She continues to put out incredibly relevant and compelling music. She’s a perfect fit in many ways for the garden.”
So far, 2014 has been a big year for the 67-year-old singer-songwriter.
She won her latest Grammy for Best Americana Album for “Old Yellow Moon,” a collaborative album with songwriter Rodney Crowell.
She has announced a book deal, aimed for publication in fall 2015.
And on April 8, Harris’ career-defining 1995 album “Wrecking Ball” was reissued by Nonesuch Records. The three-disc set contains a remastered version of the original album, which took home the Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album in 1996, as well as a bonus CD of recently unearthed demos and outtakes.
“Wrecking Ball” was a collaboration with rock producer Daniel Lanois, then best known for his work with U2. It marked a bold departure from traditional country roots and her fans didn’t know what to make of it. She admitted later that it caused some fans to wonder if the real Emmylou Harris had been kidnapped by aliens.
Over the past 19 years it has become one of Harris’ best-selling albums — and she’s got more than 20.
No wonder it’s difficult for fans to pick a favorite.
P With special guest Nathaniel Rateliff.
When • Tuesday, 7 p.m.
Where • Red Butte Garden
Tickets • Sold out