Gillian Welch “Picasso” – Listen

‘Picasso’ is making Gillian Welch blue – so she suggests that he just pack his things and go, ‘cos everything looks wrong in his pictures.  It’s another release from the Gillian Welch archive – one of fifteen songs on ‘Boots No. 2: The Lost Songs, Vol. 2,‘ which is out now on  Acony Records. Continue reading “Gillian Welch “Picasso” – Listen”

Gillian Welch “Boots No. 2: The Lost Songs, Vol.1” (Acony Records, 2020)

Lockdown seems to have spurred Gillian Welch into action. Hardly a prolific artist, this latest disc comes hot on the heels of her covers album, ‘All The Good Times’, and a further two volumes of so-called “lost songs” are promised soon. ‘All The Good Times’ was a lockdown collection of fresh recordings with her long time partner David Rawlings, but ‘The Lost Songs’ series comprise a selection drawn from a cache of home demos and reel-to-reel recordings laid down by Welch and Rawlings in 2002. Apparently, this burst of activity was in order to release Welch from a publishing contract and the songs were then filed away. The three volumes will feature 48 new songs, a veritable treasure trove for fans. Continue reading “Gillian Welch “Boots No. 2: The Lost Songs, Vol.1” (Acony Records, 2020)”

AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Alasdair Fotheringham

After a week off to catch our breath, AUK’s quest to find the ’10 best americana albums ever’ returns this week with the selections of Alasdair Fotheringham.  Each week a different AUK writer offers his or herself up to scrutiny by presenting their personal selections of the top 10. When all have had their say (and you try shutting them up), the most frequently chosen albums will be compiled into a shortlist on which we will all vote to produce the ultimate AUK writers top 10 albums ever. But you knew all that didn’t you? – and if you didn’t, where the hell have you been? Take it away Alasdair! Continue reading “AUK’s top 10 americana albums ever: Alasdair Fotheringham”

Gillian Welch to release new volume of “lost recordings” – Listen

Gillian Welch has confirmed the digital release of ‘Boots No.2: The Lost Songs, Vol.1’ which will come out at the end of this month via Acony Records, the independent record label she and partner David Rawlings founded in 2001. The new collection is unearthed from a cache of home demos and reel-to-reel recordings and is the second release of archival music from the vault of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. Continue reading “Gillian Welch to release new volume of “lost recordings” – Listen”

Something for the weekend: Gillian Welch and David Rawlings “Jackson”

So, the end of another very sad week for music with news that for me the best venue in the country, The Deaf Institute in Manchester, will never be reopening its doors – more than ever, please do go and support the Save Our Venues campaign. In the meantime, we leave you this week dear reader with a track taken from the new covers album by americana stalwarts Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, ‘All the Good Times’. Recorded at home on a reel-to-reel tape machine, the digitally released album includes their own version of songs by artists including Bob Dylan (‘Señor,’ ‘Abandoned Love’), John Prine (‘Hello in There’), Elizabeth Cotton (‘Oh Babe It Ain’t No Lie’) and Norman Blake (‘Ginseng Sullivan’), along with their take on traditional tunes such as ‘Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss’ and ‘Poor Ellen Smith.’ There’s also a cracking version of  Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash’s duet ‘Jackson’. Have a good one if you can.

Top ten banjo tracks

The banjo has made a significant contribution to Americana dating back in its earliest forms to thirteenth-century sub-Saharan cultures. It almost certainly reached America with slaves during the eighteenth century and by the nineteenth century it was being accompanied by that Northern European import, the fiddle. Appalachian folk music adopted the instrument creating new interpretations of European folk tunes eventually leading to legendary banjo exponent, Earl Scruggs influencing many players of the twentieth century. Continue reading “Top ten banjo tracks”

Gillian Welch and David Rawlings record Buster Scruggs song – Listen

A nice story RS Country are carrying today about that wonderful song from the first story in the Coen Brothers’ “Ballad of Buster Scruggs” movie. They report: “One of those most important traditions, the cowboy song, is captured in the pair’s plaintive Academy Award-nominated tune, “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings,” for which they’ve released their own recording. Continue reading “Gillian Welch and David Rawlings record Buster Scruggs song – Listen”

Gillian Welch talks about Buster Scruggs Oscar nomination

RS Country have run a nice interview today with Gillian Welch who had a brief encounter with the world of the Academy Awards in 2000, when the Coen Brothers’ “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Cinematography. The soundtrack featured contributions from Welch although she didn’t get any nominations herself. Anyway nearly two decades on, she and partner David Rawlings are still close with the Coens and this time around she’s got a nomination for the song ‘When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings’ (which without hearing what the other nominations are, definitely deserves to win – you can hear it below).  She explained to RS how the song came about: Continue reading “Gillian Welch talks about Buster Scruggs Oscar nomination”

Various Artists “The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs – Original Soundtrack” (Milan Records, 2018)

If you haven’t yet seen the latest Coen Brothers effort, ‘The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs’, then you’re in for a treat. Released through Netflix (and if you haven’t got access to Netflix then surely someone you know must have –  just pitch up on their doorstep with two fingers of red eye and persuade them to watch it with you), it’s a portmanteau movie set in the old west with six distinct tales. These pitch from rib tickling fun to very dark humour and there are echoes of influences as far ranging as Gene Autry, Cormac McCarthy and even an obscure 1920’s Danish film, ‘The Phantom Carriage’. Murder and dirty deeds loom large throughout. Of note to AUK readers is the presence of Tom Waits and Willie Watson on screen and two compositions by David Rawlings and Gillian Welch on the soundtrack. Continue reading “Various Artists “The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs – Original Soundtrack” (Milan Records, 2018)”

Interview: David Rawlings

David Rawlings is quite the guy these days. A still youthful picker with an extraordinary command of the roots and traditional end of US country music, Rawlings has been plying his trade for many years, always earning praise, accolades and generating interest in both the genre and his own personal take on it all. Surprisingly, perhaps, he also remains firmly footed and rooted in a bubble of modesty and humility that, frankly, is a rare thing in modern-day Music City, Nashville, where he is based. Continue reading “Interview: David Rawlings”