Album: Dave Rawlings Machine, A Friend of a Friend, (Acony)
Better known as Gillian Welch's personal and performing partner, Dave Rawlings' first album in his own right is an outright triumph, reflecting not just his instrumental and production expertise, but his considerable songwriting abilities too.
With Welch involved throughout (along with period ensemble Old Crow Medicine Show on several tracks), it's akin to one of her albums, but with the balance of their harmonies swapped to favour Rawlings' voice. The lovely "Ruby" opens the album with a country-rock plangency reminiscent of Asylum Records of the 70s, a change likewise evident in the album photos, which depict the duo more as denim-clad hippies than 40s rural retro-icons. That laidback impression comes through strongly in the sunrise reverie of "Bells of Harlem" and particularly in "I Hear Them All", a song of spiritual empathy delivered with an air of stillness and contentment. Elsewhere, there's a bluegrass version of "To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High)", co-written with Ryan Adams; ruminations on hard times and dangerous indulgences, "How's About You" and "Sweet Tooth"; and a medley joining Conor Oberst's "Method Acting" to Neil Young's "Cortez the Killer".
Download this: Ruby, To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High), Method Acting/Cortez the Killer, I Hear Them All, Bells of Harlem
Arts & Ents blogs
Owen Howells is a DJ/producer who grew up in Australia but was born in the UK. He came back to the U...
Fancy seeing a play about serial killers? How about inviting a funeral director into your home for a...
There are a good many moments in the second episode of this psychological thriller that deserve refl...
Liam Gallagher slams Daft Punk: 'I could have written Get Lucky in an hour'
Archaeologists uncover nearly 5,000 cave paintings in Burgos, Mexico
After 61 films, including The Hangover Part III, Heather Graham admits she still likes to boogie
Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
Film review: The Hangover Part III - it tries hard to be funny but fails to raise a solitary guffaw
- 1 Pope Francis: Being an atheist is alright as long as you do good
- 2 What, let gays get married? We must be bonkers
- 3 'Something passed underneath us, quite close': Airbus A320 has close encounter with UFO
- 4 Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
- 5 Two bailed after arrest over Woolwich attack Twitter comments
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.