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Gillian Welch

Gillian Welch first appeared on the folk scene as a young singer/songwriter armed with a voice and sensibility far beyond her years, earning widespread acclaim for her deft, evocative resurrection of the musical styles most commonly associated with rural Appalachia of the early 20th century. Welch was born in 1967 in Manhattan and grew up in West Los Angeles, where her parents wrote material for the comedy program The Carol Burnett Show. It was as a child that she became fascinated by bluegrass and early country music, in particular the work of the Stanley Brothers, the Delmore Brothers, and the Carter Family.

In the early '90s, Welch attended the Berklee School of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, where she began performing her own material, as well as traditional country and bluegrass songs, as part of a duo with fellow student David Rawlings. After honing their skills in local open mike showcases, the duo began performing regularly throughout the country. While opening for Peter Rowan in Nashville, they were spotted by musician and producer T-Bone Burnett, who helped Welch and Rawlings land a record deal. With Burnett producing, they cut 1996's starkly beautiful Revival, an album split between bare-bones duo performances -- some even recorded in mono to capture a bygone sound -- and more full-bodied cuts featuring legendary sessionmen like guitarist James Burton, upright bassist Roy Huskey, Jr., and drummers Buddy Harmon and Jim Keltner.

Her sophomore album, Hell Among the Yearlings, followed in 1998. The years following her second release found Welch involved in several soundtracks (O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Songcatcher), tribute albums (Songs of Dwight Yoakam: Will Sing for Food, Return of the Grievous Angel: A Tribute to Gram Parsons), and guest spots on other artists' albums (Ryan Adams' Heartbreaker, Mark Knopfler's Sailing to Philadelphia). Following the success of O Brother, Welch and Rawlings found themselves in the center of a traditional American folk revival and released their third album, Time (The Revelator), in mid-2001. Steady touring, guest appearances, and the release of a DVD (The Revelator Collection) kept the pair busy, but in 2003 they found time to record Soul Journey, their second release on their own Acony Records label. Rawlings cut his first solo album, A Friend of Mine, though Welch sang harmony all over it. It was issued in 2009. Welch didn't release another album under her own name again until 2011, when she and Rawlings released The Harrow & The Harvest on Acony. She and Rawlings co-produced, sang, and played everything on the album, which was engineered by Matt Andrews. ~ Jason Ankeny
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Harrow & The Harvest

1. Scarlet Town

2. Dark Turn Of Mind

3. The Way It Will Be

4. The Way It Goes

5. Tennessee

6. Down Along The Dixie Line

7. Six White Horses

8. Hard Times

9. Silver Dagger

10. The Way The Whole Thing Ends

x

Track List: Soul Journey

1. Look At Miss Ohio

2. Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor

3. Wayside / Back In Time

4. I Had A Real Good Mother And Father

5. One Monkey

6. No One Knows My Name

7. Lowlands

8. One Little Song

9. I Made A Lovers Prayer

10. Wrecking Ball

x

Track List: Time (The Revelator)

1. Revelator

2. My First Lover

3. Dear Someone

4. Red Clay Halo

5. April The 14th (Part 1)

6. I Want To Sing That Rock And Roll (Live)

7. Elvis Presley Blues

8. Ruination Day (Part 2)

9. Everything Is Free

10. I Dream A Highway

x

Track List: Hell Among The Yearlings

1. Caleb Meyer

2. Good Til Now

3. The Devil Had A Hold Of Me

4. My Morphine

5. One Morning

6. Miner's Refrain

7. Honey Now

8. I'm Not Afraid To Die

9. Rock Of Ages

10. Whiskey Girl

11. Winter's Come And Gone

x

Track List: Revival

1. Orphan Girl

2. Annabelle

3. Pass You By

4. Barroom Girls

5. One More Dollar

6. By The Mark

7. Paper Wings

8. Tear My Stillhouse Down

9. Acony Bell

10. Only One And Only

x

Track List: Music From The Revelator Collection

1. April The 14th Part I (Live)

2. Wichita (Live)

3. Red Clay Halo (Live)

4. Billy (Live)

5. Pocahontas (Live)

6. Revelator (Live)

7. I'm On My Way Back To The Old Home (Live)

8. White Freightliner Blues (Live)

Comments

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very nice
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Wish I could give By The Mark a dozen thumbs up. Best gospel song in fifty years!
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Love~~~
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Someone criticized Gillian for not being authentic (not actually a coal miners' daughter, poor, from a single parent home, etc) and I told them Gillian isn't just in touch with roots music, she's in touch with the human feelings that roots music is in touch with. That's better than authentic.

Rawlings is fantastic, too. Very unique style and his voice supports her so perfectly it's almost invisible. Errr...you know.
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unique
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mjb5123
I hate country music, but I'm loving this
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So mellow and beautiful, like slow honey.
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bjeanrn25
My new favorite
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She has the smoothest, most soothing twang in the business ;-).
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Welch gets this exactly right!!
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franksurfs10 1
Sentes 101
The very first time I heard her I found a place in my soul that I had always been waiting for... .. .
You so perfectly take us to where we Are
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True Composer/pla y e r / a r t i s t . . .
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michael.doyl e 6 1
Great show at the Beacon Theater last night with Dave Rawlings Machine!
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hkaluga5
Love the music!!! Can't wait to hear more!!!


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The REAL THING!!!!
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Gillian is incredible!
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Galliano Welch Rock of Ages
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Appalachia-n o t h i n g like that sound, and Welch has it exactly.
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Born same year as eldest son I was Vietnam bound. Your music is a transgenerat i o n a l blessing bringing all who are able. Home TY and God bless. Lt&B
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LOVE HER!!!! So glad Pandora let me discover her, what a voice!
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pamelaboss55
I love the way she sings Miners Prayer. Didn't think anyone other then Dwight could do it justice.
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she sang the song Orphan Girl and I am going to be sad everytime
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Wow!!
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Left my Gillian Welch Time the Revelator CD in a rent-a-car in south Florida in 2010. It was a 2 am turn-in after a tour of the Everglades and the Keys.
That seems appropriate.
I hope someone out there appreciates it.
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This chic is awesome I found her on Pandora on June Carter radio and I have been playing ever since I would love to see her live
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She created a sub genre - creep folk - a dark, hyper moody way of delivering old time lo-fi music that makes it appealing to fans of people like nick drake or Elliot smith and spawned bands like Blanche. Some of her songs give me the creeps esp on Time (The Revelator) but always in a very good way. Long live GW!
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Great Live Show - Heavy Heavy lady
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gypsyreads
AWESOME GIRL
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Great songwriter, and they put on a great live show.
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baileytile
Lie this blue grass stuff!
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This is the real poopaloopa. Welch and Rawlings are incredible!
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I love you

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hector_ramir e z 2 9 1 9 9 0
Flawless
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Beautiful! Thank goodness for Townes Van Zandt station
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comptonjodi
I love her.
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Isn't it amazing how musical simplicity and emotional truth touch you like so much over-produce d modern music cannot? Love Gillian and how this beautiful kind of music is being rediscovered .
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Very great down home music!
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Such a remarkable woman, right up there with Lucinda Williams.. Truly amazing soul.
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Thank you , Jason Ankeny. By the way, Nice nom-de-plume . Your Discophorey was informative to say the least....... . . . . . . . . I really appreciate the forum. BZ
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Lovin' this release. Though the mood is often melancholy, the album still feels as soothing as watching a lazy river flow........ . . . . . . . . .
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I think I'm in Love!
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armsbyned
I love Pandora for exposing me to Ms. Welch. Heard her name all over the place but never really heard much of her. Every song of hers that comes on is better than the last.
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Gilliam Welch was adopted to an urban family. Her adopted parents found out that she was born to a young musical woman from the south and told her as she was entering adulthood.
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debbiehern
Just them last night in Spokane in a small venue. They were fabulous and so authentic!
Tickets still very affordable.
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me_soares
Dave Rawling's album is still wrong...it's Friend of a Friend.
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Couldn't talk; greatness here.
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jimsand82
Great sound! Great music!
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my comments about gillian were true so it was deleated
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jessedphilli p s
I frequently sing Gillian Welch songs to my two kids at night for bedtime. Listening to a little kids sing Orphan Girl, By the Marks where the Nails have Been, or Acony Bell...doesn ' t get much sweeter.
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lance.ladd, I don't know you, but you need therapy
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