Thursday, June 19, 2008

Gillian Welch

When you are in need of some real country music, not the garbage that they play on the radio by people like Rascal Flatts and Toby Keith, what better person to turn to than a Californian? That's right, I am talking about Gillian Welch.

In spite of being born in New York and raised in California, her songs sound like they are straight from the Dust Bowl, some mountain holler in West Virginia, or some honky tonk bar out in the sticks. Welch a is fantastic writer and has a lovely drawl to her voice and is accompanied on most songs by guitarist David Rawlings. Though not exactly famous, she gained a good amount of exposure by being a part of the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack.

Of all her albums, I would recommend Time (the Revelator) as the best pick. While perhaps a bit darker than some of her other albums, it has a few upbeat numbers like "I Want to Sing That Rock and Roll" and "Elvis Presley Blues." The song "Ruination Day" is about April 14th: the day that the Titanic Sank, the date of "Black Sunday" (the worst dust storm of the Dust Bowl, as well as the day that MLK Abraham Lincoln was shot. It concludes with "I Dream a Highway," a beautiful, winding 14 minute long song that really illustrates Welch's songwriting abilities.

Below are a selection of her songs for your listening pleasure.

"I Want to Sing That Rock and Roll"

"Acony Bell"

"Time (the Revelator)"


Anonymous said...

Hey Trip.

GW participates in a Gram Parsons tribute called Return of The Grievous Angel. She sing Hickory Wind, a beautiful song in its own right, but she really makes something wonderful of it.

trip said...

Interesting to hear. I will have to check that album out. I have been hoping that one of the libraries around me will have some Gram Parsons CDs to check out (that is the best place to get CDs, after all), however I haven't been able to track any down yet. Maybe one of these days...

Anonymous said...

It's the date Lincoln was shot (the great emancipator). King was shot April 4th.