David Rawlings is a monster

Dave Hicks

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Yeah, seems like Epi tried to cash in on his success - unfortunately, those Epi Masterbuilt "archtops" must be some of the worst guitars of this millennium - they look nice from a distance (that matte finish looks extremely plastic-y up close...), but sound like they are made from wet cardboard - which is no wonder, since there is almost no arch to the pressed top.
Also, piezo pickups (like on these Epis) sound even worse in archtops than in flattops.

I was really excited when those were released - and really disappointed when I got to try a couple... My cheapo Loar LH300 sounds sooo much better it isn't even funny.

I must not have been the only one who felt like this - Epi discontinued them after a really short production run, and you can still find plenty of those in stores, usually heavily discounted - seems like almost nobody wanted to buy one...


I was eager to try one, but my enthusiasm dissipated quickly once I did.

D.H.
 

theprofessor

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I agree with everyone here about Rawlings and Welch. I like them a lot, and I have listened to them for decades. One thing that continues to astound me, though, is how convincing their Southern folk style is. Rawlings is from Rhode Island, and Welch is from New York. I myself am from Mississippi, and there is really nothing that sounds contrived to me about their style.
 

John Owen

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I agree with everyone here about Rawlings and Welch. I like them a lot, and I have listened to them for decades. One thing that continues to astound me, though, is how convincing their Southern folk style is. Rawlings is from Rhode Island, and Welch is from New York. I myself am from Mississippi, and there is really nothing that sounds contrived to me about their style.
Exactly! And Gillian grew up in LA. If I'm not mistaken her parents were writers for the Carole Burnett show. But there is nothing contrived about their sound. I think they met at a party and started playing together because they both loved the Stanley Brothers. Regardless of where one grows up, if you love a style of music enough and listen to it enough, you will "get it". They clearly get it. Those two make some of the best music out there and need zero adornment to make it work. I've really been enjoying their "Lost Songs" album - just the two of them in the living room. Great stuff: https://store.aconyrecords.com/products/boots-no-2-the-lost-songs-cd-boxset?variant=32345579618391
 

Dave Hicks

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Exactly! And Gillian grew up in LA. If I'm not mistaken her parents were writers for the Carole Burnett show. But there is nothing contrived about their sound. I think they met at a party and started playing together because they both loved the Stanley Brothers. Regardless of where one grows up, if you love a style of music enough and listen to it enough, you will "get it". They clearly get it. Those two make some of the best music out there and need zero adornment to make it work. I've really been enjoying their "Lost Songs" album - just the two of them in the living room. Great stuff: https://store.aconyrecords.com/products/boots-no-2-the-lost-songs-cd-boxset?variant=32345579618391

Well, that link cost me some money. At least it can be a Christmas present for both me and my wife (she plays more of their songs than I do).

D.H.
 
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John Owen

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Exactly! And Gillian grew up in LA. If I'm not mistaken her parents were writers for the Carole Burnett show. But there is nothing contrived about their sound. I think they met at a party and started playing together because they both loved the Stanley Brothers. Regardless of where one grows up, if you love a style of music enough and listen to it enough, you will "get it". They clearly get it. Those two make some of the best music out there and need zero adornment to make it work. I've really been enjoying their "Lost Songs" album - just the two of them in the living room. Great stuff: https://store.aconyrecords.com/products/boots-no-2-the-lost-songs-cd-boxset?variant=32345579618391
@theprofessor - oops! I just fact checked my post - Gillian grew up in New York just like you said (not LA like I said). That's what I get for relying on my aging memory!
 

rand z

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I always enjoyed them.

Yes, very cool playing, especially the open string chords he uses up the neck.

Those chords, arpeggios and open string runs are a style in itself.

Not many players delve into them.

Their music always kinda reminded me a bit of the Jayhawk's.

Especially their melodies and harmonies.

Thanks for the mention of the MCK's.

I'll check them out!

(Tom Principato has a publication that exposes many of those open string chords up the fretboard.)

imo.
 

Alex W

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gillian-welch-boots-no-1-0.jpg


As much as I love their acoustic sound, there have been a couple of more electrified recordings by the duo and I really liked those too. It would be interesting if they did a whole album more electrified in nature. They could title it "Judas," maybe.


"Honey Now" also has the distinction of being perhaps the raunchiest song in their catalog.

It seems like there's another song that has more of an electrified feel, but right now I can't think of it. So here's another favorite of mine. Doesn't really showcase DR's monster guitar chops, but hopefully no one minds.

 

tfarny

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His own stuff is great, too - but some of his stuff is pretty "different" while some of it fits well into his collaboration with Gillian. I saw him play under his own name in New York about 10 years ago in a small venue, his backing band was Gillian and Old Crow Medicine Show. Phenomenal. Here's a cover that much improves on the original:

 

boris bubbanov

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His harmony singing is as inventive and exquisite as his guitar playing.

The Understatement of the Year, at TDPRI.

Obviously, David is working on a plane the rest of us can only dimly see.

Dave Grohl was doing an interview, calling the stuff we hear on the radio "very simple". But that depends on how you listen to some of these artists. Rawlings is finding ways of taking a fairly simple structure and deconstructing it and making use of all the elemental, no, the atomic aspects of what this music brings.
 

Geoff738

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Ok, have enjoyed all your replies. Many thanks.

If you would recommend one Rawlings/Machine album to pick up, which would it be?

Cheers,
Geoff
 

Dave Hicks

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Ok, have enjoyed all your replies. Many thanks.

If you would recommend one Rawlings/Machine album to pick up, which would it be?

Cheers,
Geoff

Nashville Obsolete is my favorite, Poor David's Almanac not far behind; Friend of a Friend ain't bad, either.

Nashville is mostly long songs in the shaggy dog mode, Poor is mostly his/their take on Appalachian trad music, and Friend is a mix.

D.H.
 
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