no avatar

Two musicians, one soul Gillian Welch, Dave Rawlings bring collective voice to Bristol

staff report • Aug 16, 2011 at 2:18 AM

Mixing a somber modern irony with the hard-bitten grit of old-fashioned American folk music, Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings have emerged as the soulful voice of the Americana scene’s most accomplished musicians. Next week, they’ll bring their collective voice to Bristol. Welch, joined by Rawlings, will perform at 8 p.m., Aug. 23, at Bristol’s Paramount Center for the Arts in support of her latest album, “The Harrow & The Harvest.” Reserved seats are $27.50. According to “American Songwriter,” the new songs “are defiantly spare and spectral, featuring mostly the dueling guitars and voices of Welch and longtime partner Dave Rawlings. Their playing sounds tighter and more intuitive than ever.” Indisputably, the album is the product of two people who have become so entwined in one another that the songs and the singing and the playing seem to exude from a single voice. “It’s the sound of two people in a room, playing to one another, with one another. This is the sound of the room in which the two people are playing. This is the sound of two voices, locked in unison, locked in harmony. The sound of two people playing live, with no overdubs, and very few takes. Two people making music together as if they were one soul combined,” Welch’s bio reads. Welch and Rawlings met at Berklee College of Music — Gillian was studying songwriting, while Dave studied guitar — at an audition for a country band. Together, they moved to Nashville, where most of their work together has been produced. They have influenced and inspired new generations of country and folk singers, songwriters and players, and their songs have been recorded by the likes of Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris and Solomon Burke. Their body of work is deeply rooted in the world it has sought to portray in song: the American South. “Yes, Tennessee figures rather prominently in the new songs... The truth is, we absented ourselves from Nashville for a while, to escape the weight of home and studio and record label. But I think our thoughts turned back there with a newness and clarity I hadn’t felt since I moved there almost 20 years ago,” Welch said. So, you might call it a new Southern sound. “Dave says this record is ‘ten different kinds of sad,’ but it’s not without humor,” Welch said. “I feel like there’s a maturity in it and a sense of place that only comes with time.” Tickets for the show are available at the Paramount box office or online at etix.com . For more details, call (423) 274-8920.Courtesy of Gillian Welch

Recommended for You

    Kingsport Times News Videos