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Folk - Verschenen op 13 november 2020 | Acony Records

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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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Folk - Verschenen op 18 september 2020 | Acony Records

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Folk - Verschenen op 31 juli 2020 | Acony Records

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Folk - Verschenen op 28 juni 2011 | Acony Records

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Folk - Verschenen op 10 juli 2020 | Acony Records

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For some people, the name Gillian Welch doesn’t ring a bell. For others, it makes them think of Didn’t Leave Nobody But the Baby, featuring Emmylou Harris and Alison Krauss, and I’ll Fly Away, a duet with Krauss on the soundtrack of O’Brother, a Coen brothers’ film. But for a small minority, Gillian Welch is quite simply one of the most important singer/songwriters of contemporary folk and country music. The New Yorker established herself as a formidable talent through her writing, vocals and adherence to classicism in five studio albums (Revival in 1996, Hell Among the Yearlings in 1998, Time (The Revelator) in 2001, Soul Journey in 2003 and The Harrow & the Harvest in 2011). With instrumentation by her partner, guitarist David Rawlings, her music has an organic sound and her articulate vocals tell timeless stories of everyday life. Showcasing the old bluegrass style as well as early folk, country and the ultimate rural blues, Welch sings about the land we live on and covers themes such as nature, ordinary people, social outcasts, life and death. Of course, she is often known for covering other artist’s songs, and this is exactly what she and Rawlings do on All the Good Times, which was recorded at home on a vintage tape recorder mid-lockdown. The album features a mixture of traditional songs arranged by the couple (Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss, Poor Ellen Smith and All the Good Times Are Past and Gone) as well as covers of songs by Bob Dylan (Señor (Tales of Yankee Power) and Abandoned Love), John Prime (Hello in There), Elizabeth Cotton (Oh Babe It Ain’t No Lie) and Norman Blake (Ginseng Sullivan), not forgetting their cover of the brilliant Jackson by Leiber and Wheeler that was popularised by Johnny Cash and June Carter. The folk tradition in Appalachian music has always inspired the work of the Welch/Rawlings couple and, once again, this tradition is reflected in the pared-down style of these tasteful acoustic covers. This enchanting album, both rustic and casual, ends on a humorous note as the pair perform Arlie Duff’s Y’all Come, a song that has been covered by artists such as Bing Crosby, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Patti Page and Bobby Vinton, all about neighbours coming together – so much for social distancing! © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Folk - Verschenen op 31 juli 2001 | Acony Records

Timing and talent align on Time (The Revelator). Gillian Welch had already made two strong records—Revival and Hell Among The Yearlings—when in 2000 she appeared on the soundtrack to the Coen Brothers film, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, more than holding her own against singing partners Alison Krauss and Emmylou Harris. People were ready to hear what she did next, and with Time (The Revelator), she and co-writer/guitarist/singer David Rawlings exceeded expectations by delivering music of even more depth and beauty. Their work to date had evoked an old-fashioned America, and there was still plenty of antiquity coursing through their songs. Their harmonies on "I Want To Sing That Rock And Roll" blend like the Everly Brothers', and the sprightly vocal melody and intertwined acoustic guitar figures on "Red Clay Halo" sound like they were cut from the same cloth as Bill and Charlie Monroe's. But Welch had begun to work equally vivid details into her writing that might have been experienced by a person of her own time. The protagonist of "My First Lover" loses her virginity to a Steve Miller song, and "April The 14th Pt. I" strings together a series of disasters that starts with Abraham Lincoln's assassination and leads to a rock band's lousy gig. She even casts an eye upon an unpleasant future, acknowledging some distasteful financial facts about playing music on "Everything Is Free" that have only gotten truer with time. Mindful of their roots and fully aware of their own power to write and perform songs that are enduring, unforgettable worlds unto themselves, Welch and Rawlings reached the height of their powers on Time (The Revelator). © Bill Meyer/Qobuz
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Folk - Verschenen op 3 juni 2003 | Acony Records

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Folk - Verschenen op 9 april 1996 | Acony Records

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Folk - Verschenen op 25 november 2016 | Acony Records

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Folk - Verschenen op 28 juli 1998 | Acony Records

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Folk - Verschenen op 25 februari 2010 | Acony Records

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Folk - Verschenen op 25 november 2016 | Acony Records

When Gillian Welch released her debut album, Revival, in 1996, plenty of listeners and critics were taken aback by her strikingly accomplished re-creation of the sound and mindset of country music of the '20s and '30s, as if she'd miraculously stepped out of Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music into Nashville in the late 20th century. It soon became common knowledge that Welch was born in New York City and had attended the Berklee School of Music, leading many to question the sincerity of the artist and the validity of the work. Twenty years later, Welch has released Boots No. 1: The Official Revival Bootleg, a collection of outtakes, demos, and alternate versions committed to tape before or during the making of Revival. The front cover of Boots No. 1 features a photo from the same sitting that produced Revival's cover art, except this time Welch is holding an electric guitar. The shot is a subtle but cheeky reminder of what should have been the point all along: Gillian Welch wasn't a savant but an artist, one who drew clear inspiration from the sounds of America's past, but used them as a starting point to tell powerful and eloquent stories of her own. And while Welch could pass for the lost member of the Carter Family when she saw fit, Boots No. 1 reveals there are plenty of other directions she could have taken that would have been just as compelling and just as valid. Most of the tracks here follow the essential template of Revival -- Welch and her constant collaborator David Rawlings blending their vocals and guitars with minimal accompaniment, sometimes in glorious mono. But the ragged but right rock & roll of "455 Rocket," the sinewy midnight groove of "Pass You By," and the evocative Patsy Cline-isms of "Paper Wings" (which appears in two versions, one featuring ethereal pedal steel work from John R. Hughey) testify to Welch's versatility, as well as her unerring skill as a singer and tunesmith. And while Welch had plenty of gifted accompanists on board (no surprise with T-Bone Burnett producing the sessions), you'd be hard-pressed to name two people who are as musically simpatico as Welch and Rawlings, and his graceful, lively guitar work is a joy to behold here. Boots No. 1 plays less like an expansion of Revival than a document of a fertile period of creativity in the life of Gillian Welch, and while fans of the original album will revel in it, you don't have to be familiar with it to be dazzled by the subtle passion, intelligence, and eloquence of this music. © Mark Deming /TiVo
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Folk - Verschenen op 12 februari 2019 | Acony Records

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Folk - Verschenen op 25 februari 2010 | Acony Records

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Folk - Verschenen op 13 november 2020 | Acony Records

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Folk - Verschenen op 25 februari 2010 | Acony Records

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Folk - Verschenen op 8 mei 2020 | Acony Records

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Pop - Verschenen op 25 november 2016 | Acony Records

When Gillian Welch released her debut album, Revival, in 1996, plenty of listeners and critics were taken aback by her strikingly accomplished re-creation of the sound and mindset of country music of the '20s and '30s, as if she'd miraculously stepped out of Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music into Nashville in the late 20th century. It soon became common knowledge that Welch was born in New York City and had attended the Berklee School of Music, leading many to question the sincerity of the artist and the validity of the work. Twenty years later, Welch has released Boots No. 1: The Official Revival Bootleg, a collection of outtakes, demos, and alternate versions committed to tape before or during the making of Revival. The front cover of Boots No. 1 features a photo from the same sitting that produced Revival's cover art, except this time Welch is holding an electric guitar. The shot is a subtle but cheeky reminder of what should have been the point all along: Gillian Welch wasn't a savant but an artist, one who drew clear inspiration from the sounds of America's past, but used them as a starting point to tell powerful and eloquent stories of her own. And while Welch could pass for the lost member of the Carter Family when she saw fit, Boots No. 1 reveals there are plenty of other directions she could have taken that would have been just as compelling and just as valid. Most of the tracks here follow the essential template of Revival -- Welch and her constant collaborator David Rawlings blending their vocals and guitars with minimal accompaniment, sometimes in glorious mono. But the ragged but right rock & roll of "455 Rocket," the sinewy midnight groove of "Pass You By," and the evocative Patsy Cline-isms of "Paper Wings" (which appears in two versions, one featuring ethereal pedal steel work from John R. Hughey) testify to Welch's versatility, as well as her unerring skill as a singer and tunesmith. And while Welch had plenty of gifted accompanists on board (no surprise with T-Bone Burnett producing the sessions), you'd be hard-pressed to name two people who are as musically simpatico as Welch and Rawlings, and his graceful, lively guitar work is a joy to behold here. Boots No. 1 plays less like an expansion of Revival than a document of a fertile period of creativity in the life of Gillian Welch, and while fans of the original album will revel in it, you don't have to be familiar with it to be dazzled by the subtle passion, intelligence, and eloquence of this music. © Mark Deming /TiVo
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Folk - Verschenen op 12 februari 2019 | Acony Records

Artiest

Gillian Welch in het magazine
  • Gillian Welch: Boots No2
    Gillian Welch: Boots No2 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 a...