Thursday, January 3, 2013

Gillian Welch and David Rawlings at the MIM!

Gillian Welch and David Rawlings perfoming at the Musical Instrument Museum turned out to be not only worth the trip to Scottsdale, but a sonic and visual feast! Prior to the main course, we strolled the galleries of the MIM, attired in our free headsets, wired to hear the music of the instruments that we were looking at from various regions of the world. This is already an incredible musical experience before we even enter the lovely, acoustically perfect venue in the museum where Gillian Welch and her singing/songwriting partner David Rawlings will perform.
We take our seats in the comfortable and cozy living room-like auditorium. I have seen the duo four times and it always surprises me how powerful they are and how deeply their music touches me.  They have a countrified playing and singing style that seems to gently draw from the Appalachia, Tennessee, or the Deep South, but they have continued to re-contextualize that experience and make it their own.
They walk onto the stage, clad in well-worn cowboy boots and vintage clothing, and begin the show with several selections from their new album "The Harrow and the Harvest", 2011. They are clear and precise in their work, singing some of the saddest songs that you might imagine. There is also humor in their lyrics and the perspective of a well-honed observer that seeks the depth and breadth of what music and words can deliver. They use an array of instruments that includes Gillian on vocals, guitar, banjo, harmonica, hands and feet; David on vocals, harmonica, banjo, guitar, string bass, and optigan.
Gillian and David met at Berklee College of Music in Boston. They pen their own tunes and have been covered by a variety of Bluegrass, Folk Rock, Blues and Pop artists such as Tim O'Brien, Emmy Lou Harris, Joan Baez, Willie Nelson and Solomon Burke. It's been eight years since their last record. 
Other albums at the Pima County Library by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings include "Time" (the revelator), 2001 and their debut album "Revival", 1996.  They also appear on a variety of compilations, singing one tune, including:  "Mean Old Man" (Jerry Lee Lewis), the soundtrack to "Moneyland", "Down the Old Plank Road" (the Chieftains), "Going Driftless" (Greg Brown), "Women of the Heartland", the soundtrack to "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" and "Avalon Blues" a tribute to the music of Mississippi John Hurt. 
You can also download two selections by Gillian and David from Freegal:  "Miners Prayer" from "The Songs of Dwight Yokum", and from "A Tribute to John Hartford" live from Mountain Stage, "In Tall Buildings". 
After travelling the musical world at the MIM, I have to say, when you get right down to it, music of Americana is just as culturally rich as the music of any country on any continent.


No comments:

Post a Comment

What can I post on your wall?
Commenting & Posting Guidelines

Welcome to your library on social media!

Pima County Public Library (PCPL) offers blogs and other social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter for educational, cultural, civic, customer service, and recreational purposes. They provide a limited (or designated) public forum to facilitate the sharing of ideas, opinions, and information about library-related subjects and issues.

By choosing to comment or post on our social media accounts, you agree with the following:

Comments and posts are moderated by library staff, and the library reserves the right to remove any that are unlawful or off topic. Posts containing the following may be deleted:
Copyright violations
Off-topic comments
Commercial material/spam/solicitation
Sexual content, or links to sexual content
Threatening or harassing postings
Libelous or other kinds of personal attacks
Conduct or encouragement of illegal activity
Content that reveals private, personal information without permission
Vulgar language or content
Comments in support of or in opposition to political campaigns or ballot measures
Content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability or other classification

P.S. Protect your privacy. Don't post personally identifying information in these public spaces, including details like your library card number, phone number, or medical information, etc.

Young people under age 18, especially, should not post information such as your school, age, phone number, and address.