Emmylou Harris is famed for her ’70s duets with the legendary Gram Parsons, which proved that the pair had a youthful, kinetic chemistry. She shares a more professional, well-crafted sound with Rodney Crowell, but it’s still a thing of beauty. Their first duo album, “Old Yellow Moon,” won a Grammy, and this follow-up is even better. Harris and Crowell cowrote six of the 11 tracks, and some are polished gems, including the title track, which has an acoustic feel like Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Boxer,” the country lament “You Can’t Say We Didn’t Try,” and the stunning, tristesse-filled “Higher Mountains.” Crowell and Harris sing wistfully of growing old, but do it with grace, in the sweet, fiddle-spiced “No Memories Hanging Around” and the waltz “Just Pleasing You,” where Crowell phrases like Hank Williams. But there are also brighter tunes, including the Lucinda Williams cover “I Just Wanted to See You So Bad” and the playful “La Danse de la Joie.” (Out Tuesday)
Essential "Higher Mountains"
Rodney Crowell and Emmylou Harris perform at the Boston Summer Arts Weekend in Copley Square on July 25.
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