A Friend of a Friend

A Friend of a Friend

As Gillian Welch’s longtime musical partner, Dave Rawlings has supplied sublime guitar and backing vocals on each of her four albums, and now it’s his turn to take center stage. In addition to Welch, Rawlings has produced, toured, and recorded with many skilled musicians over the past decade. Some of them appear on this recording (Welch on vocals and guitar on five cuts and members of Old Crow Medicine Show on several others) while some are here in spirit. The album includes versions of “To Be Young (Is to Be Sad, Is to Be High),” which he co-wrote with Ryan Adams, “I Hear Them All,” co-written with OCMS, and Conor Oberst’s “Method Acting,” the latter of which he fuses with Neil Young’s “Cortez the Killer” to create a dramatic 10-minute medley. Rawlings’ sincere, plaintive voice brings a quiet power to the album and it’s a treat to finally hear him sing lead. As he’s done so brilliantly with Welch, he's infused his music with the spirit of old-time country, bluegrass, and jug bands so completely that his meticulous compositions sound 100 years old.

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