Emmylou Harris Talks Second Annual Woofstock

Emmylou Harris
Getty Images for SXSW

Emmylou Harris performs onstage at Radio Day Stage during 2013 SXSW at Austin Convention Center on March 15, 2013 in Austin, Texas.

Emmylou Harris tells Billboard that she has always been an animal lover, but having a pet on her well-traveled tour bus didn't click with her at first.

"I really didn't have companion animals for most of my adult life. It didn't occur to me to take a dog on the bus with me. When I moved to Nashville, and I had a house with a big yard. My daughter was turning twelve, and I thought it was time for her to have a dog. We got one named Radar. Then, I thought that he needed a companion, so I went back to the Nashville Humane and came back with this big gangly poodle mix named Bonaparte. I had a short tour run, and for some reason, I thought 'I'm just going to take him with me.' It was an amazing eye opening experience."

After that, the two became inseparable. "I was never without him after that – unless I went overseas. He traveled with me to every state in the continental US, and was with me constantly for ten years. After he died, I started Bonaparte's Retreat in his memory because he was a shelter dog, and I wanted to do what I could for other dogs like him who just needed some extra time to get adopted."

Along those lines, Harris is excited about the Second Annual Woofstock at Fontanel, which will be taking place June 8 in Nashville at the Fontanel Mansion. The event, which promotes animal rescue and adoption, was launched last summer.

She's hoping for an even bigger event than in 2012.

"More people will know about it, and because the time of it makes it a better spot for us, being in the middle of the CMA Music Festival. We'll have music, as we are still putting our repertoire of people together. Right now, we have commitments from John Hiatt and Keb' Mo. Of course, I'll be there. Buddy Miller will be there. There will also be other artists, and lots of dogs. There will be Bonaparte's Retreat, which is my rescue, Crossroads Campus, the other rescue I'm involved with. I think Fluffy Dog Rescue, Metro Animal Control, and Nashville Humane. So, if people are looking for a dog – and I think there will be cats there too, it's a wonderful time to go out and see them in this open space where they can go out and walk them, and visit the Dog Beach and the walking trail. If they have a dog already, it's a wonderful outing for them. There's lot of activities."

Harris is excited to shine the spotlight upon Crossroads Campus, an organization started by Nashville's Father Charles Strobel. "He wanted to create sort of a business where people who had been homeless could get back into the community -- as well as younger people who age out of the foster system and need a place to find themselves," she says. "His idea was an animal rescue, because he's an animal lover, so we've opened a pet store and self-grooming facility, and also dog and cats for adoption in partnership with Metro Animal Control. There's a Grand Opening on May 18 at 707 Monroe  Street – a wonderful place to come shop for your animals – or find a pet. I hope people will check it out."

Something else that Harris hopes people will look into is Old Yellow Moon, the new duet album she has released with Rodney Crowell. She says though it's been about forty years in coming.

"We always knew we were going to do a record. Rodney and I met back in 1974. He and I were in the Hot Band together from 1975-1978. I always knew he would go on to a very successful career, because he was too talented as a songwriter and performer. Of course, he's gone on to produce and make records, and I've been doing album after album and tour after tour, and it just dawned on me that it wasn't going to happen unless we made the time for it to happen. I called him up, he was all for it, and we got our calendars, enlisted Brian Ahern – who produced both of our first records, to produce it, and voila! We have an album at last."