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Gillian Welch - Boots No. 2: The Lost Songs, Vol. 3

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Boots No. 2: The Lost Songs, Vol. 3

Gillian Welch

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Working Days, John Steinbeck's account of the time he spent writing and researching The Grapes of Wrath, offers an unusual glimpse into the daily labor of creative work. In bank-teller prose, the author of one of the most revered works of 20th century literature details the number of pages he churned out, the mood he was in, the changes he intended to make with subsequent drafts. It is, at best, a tedious read. But it makes a huge point about the unglamorous aspects of craft. As not just inspiration, but business. Like bricklaying. Or landscaping. It requires showing up every day, rolling up the sleeves and trusting that the routines and the effort will lead to something worth sharing.

What does this act of showing up every day sound like? One answer comes on the stupendous three-part collection Boots No. 2, which contains song demos from 2002 that were made rapidly by Gillian Welch and her partner David Rawlings to fulfill a publishing contract. After a tornado ripped through their Nashville studio in March, the two began sifting through years of tapes. They assembled (and quickly released) a set of poignant covers, and then began issuing this trove of austere, simply rendered originals recorded after the acclaimed Time (The Revelator).

Most of these songs on Vol. 3 are elegant miniatures, compact and sturdy and focused on a single idea expressed in just one or two crystalline verses. Some sound like they might have started out as exercises—there are tunes built on blues form, and an impossibly upbeat ode to long-haul driving ("Turn It Up") and a somber minor-key observation about the latent menace of racial intolerance ("Peace In the Valley") that seems eerily relevant to our present moment. Alongside those are truth-telling songs about the tension within relationships—one standout among several is the bracing "Strangers Again," a sliver of a wisp of a song made profound by Welch's plainspoken phrasing. It's a song Welch fans might wish she'd developed further, with more verses. But that's the nature of this collection, which nearly doubles the amount of songs on Welch's five studio albums: It's a chronicle of inspirations chased and captured, ideas forgotten and then found and finally, years later, released into the wild. © Tom Moon/Qobuz

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Boots No. 2: The Lost Songs, Vol. 3

Gillian Welch

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1
Sin City
00:02:42

Gillian Welch, MainArtist - David Rawlings, Recording Producer

© 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved ℗ 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved

2
Turn It Up
00:01:52

Gillian Welch, MainArtist - David Rawlings, Recording Producer

© 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved ℗ 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved

3
Strangers Again
00:02:38

Gillian Welch, MainArtist - David Rawlings, Recording Producer

© 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved ℗ 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved

4
What Can I Do
00:01:48

Gillian Welch, MainArtist - David Rawlings, Recording Producer

© 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved ℗ 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved

5
Make Me Down A Pallet On Your Floor
00:02:51

Gillian Welch, MainArtist - David Rawlings, Recording Producer

© 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved ℗ 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved

6
City Girl
00:03:01

Gillian Welch, MainArtist - David Rawlings, Recording Producer

© 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved ℗ 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved

7
How's About You
00:02:42

Gillian Welch, MainArtist - David Rawlings, Recording Producer

© 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved ℗ 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved

8
Changing Ground
00:02:25

Gillian Welch, MainArtist - David Rawlings, Recording Producer

© 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved ℗ 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved

9
If I Ain't Going To Heaven
00:03:14

Gillian Welch, MainArtist - David Rawlings, Recording Producer

© 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved ℗ 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved

10
Peace In The Valley
00:02:49

Gillian Welch, MainArtist - David Rawlings, Recording Producer

© 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved ℗ 2020 Acony Records, LLC Acony Records, LLC

11
Cowboy Rides Away
00:02:19

Gillian Welch, MainArtist - David Rawlings, Recording Producer

© 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved ℗ 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved

12
There's A First Time For Everything
00:03:23

Gillian Welch, MainArtist - David Rawlings, Recording Producer

© 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved ℗ 2020 Acony Records, LLC Acony Records, LLC

13
Wanted Man
00:02:55

Gillian Welch, MainArtist - David Rawlings, Recording Producer

© 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved ℗ 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved

14
Put Your Foot Upon The Path
00:02:28

Gillian Welch, MainArtist - David Rawlings, Recording Producer

© 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved ℗ 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved

15
Garden Of Love
00:03:01

Gillian Welch, MainArtist - David Rawlings, Recording Producer

© 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved ℗ 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved

16
Streets Of St. Paul
00:02:58

Gillian Welch, MainArtist - David Rawlings, Recording Producer

© 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved ℗ 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved

17
One Little Song
00:03:13

Gillian Welch, MainArtist - David Rawlings, Recording Producer

© 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved ℗ 2020 Acony Records, LLC All Rights Reserved

Album Description

Working Days, John Steinbeck's account of the time he spent writing and researching The Grapes of Wrath, offers an unusual glimpse into the daily labor of creative work. In bank-teller prose, the author of one of the most revered works of 20th century literature details the number of pages he churned out, the mood he was in, the changes he intended to make with subsequent drafts. It is, at best, a tedious read. But it makes a huge point about the unglamorous aspects of craft. As not just inspiration, but business. Like bricklaying. Or landscaping. It requires showing up every day, rolling up the sleeves and trusting that the routines and the effort will lead to something worth sharing.

What does this act of showing up every day sound like? One answer comes on the stupendous three-part collection Boots No. 2, which contains song demos from 2002 that were made rapidly by Gillian Welch and her partner David Rawlings to fulfill a publishing contract. After a tornado ripped through their Nashville studio in March, the two began sifting through years of tapes. They assembled (and quickly released) a set of poignant covers, and then began issuing this trove of austere, simply rendered originals recorded after the acclaimed Time (The Revelator).

Most of these songs on Vol. 3 are elegant miniatures, compact and sturdy and focused on a single idea expressed in just one or two crystalline verses. Some sound like they might have started out as exercises—there are tunes built on blues form, and an impossibly upbeat ode to long-haul driving ("Turn It Up") and a somber minor-key observation about the latent menace of racial intolerance ("Peace In the Valley") that seems eerily relevant to our present moment. Alongside those are truth-telling songs about the tension within relationships—one standout among several is the bracing "Strangers Again," a sliver of a wisp of a song made profound by Welch's plainspoken phrasing. It's a song Welch fans might wish she'd developed further, with more verses. But that's the nature of this collection, which nearly doubles the amount of songs on Welch's five studio albums: It's a chronicle of inspirations chased and captured, ideas forgotten and then found and finally, years later, released into the wild. © Tom Moon/Qobuz

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