Album: Dave Rawlings Machine, A Friend of a Friend, (Acony)

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The Independent Culture

Recognise the name? He’s Gillian Welch’s other half, the idiosyncratic picker/producer who harmonises.

Well, roles are reversed on this first solo album: Welch does the harmonising, exposing Rawling’s thin, reedy tenor to the breeze. It stands up. This is a gorgeous album, almost as thoughtful as GW’s best and a degree less bookish, which is no bad thing. Stand outs? A 10-minute elision of Neil Young’s “Cortez the Killer” and a Conor Oberst song: like glueing emotion to myth with air. Not too chewy.

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