Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell and Randy Newman are scheduled to perform a pair of intimate concerts at the end of August to benefit the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity, both at private homes. Tickets to the "Songs from the Heart" events include cocktails and dinner prepared by prominent local chefs; Susan Spicer, at Newman's performance on Monday, Aug. 24, and Nathanial Zimet of Boucherie on Wednesday, Aug. 26, to the tunes of Crowell and Harris.
Randy Newman, who was born in New Orleans, last played here in January of this year, backed by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra – a powerful concert with its emotional climax in his performance of "Louisiana 1927." (Bring a hanky or be sure to grab an extra napkin if you join Newman on Aug. 24 at the home of Jennifer and Fred Heebe; close quarters will surely add to the impact.)
Emmylou Harris, the Americana music icon whose first wide acclaim came from her work with Gram Parsons (who is buried in the New Orleans area) addressed the aftermath of Katrina on her 2011 album "Hard Bargain," with the song "New Orleans": "The whole world stood to watch us drown/ But we took it to a higher ground."
In 2014, Harris and Crowell won the best Americana album Grammy for their collaboration "Old Yellow Moon." They joined forces again for "The Traveling Kind," which was released in May. The duo last performed together in New Orleans in 2013. (Listen to a lengthy interview with Rodney Crowell on the New Orleans-produced public radio program "American Routes" here.)
Randy Newman performs at the Heebe residence on Monday, Aug. 24. Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell appear at the home of Danielle Kavanagh on Wednesday, Aug. 26. Both concerts take place between 6 to 9 p.m. The musicians are donating their performances, presented in partnership between New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity, Nonesuch Records and Warner Brothers Records.
Tickets are $500 per concert, $750 for a pair (either two tickets to one concert, or one ticket to each) and $1350 for two tickets each to both concerts. Visit habitat-nola.org/songs-from-the-heart to purchase or for more information.