Monday, May 7, 2007

Bonnawho's Who - Gillian Welch

Official Bio (via All Music):

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, MA, 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 session men 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.

Live On Stage:

Not a lot of high quality stuff on YouTube, so we'll go with this clip from the Gram Parsons' tribute on Session At West 54th of Gillian Welch doing "Hickory Wind"....

I'm a huge Gillian fan and she's one of the acts I'm really excited to see this year, so do yourself a favor and give her a listen. Here's a few shows to check out (via Dimeadozen).....

Gillian Welch & David Rawlings - 2007-02-16 - Variety Playhouse - Atlanta, GA

Gillian Welch & David Rawlings - 2005-06-18 - 32nd Telluride Bluegrass Festival - Town Park - Telluride, CO

Gillian Welch & David Rawlings - 2002-12-04 - Fiddlers Nightclub - Bristol, England

Music Videos:

As far as I can tell this is the only official music video she has - here's the gorgeous "Time (The Revelator)"....

Let's also go with this great collaboration with Old Crow Medicine Show on "The Weight"....

Here's a couple more clips to check out - they're shot from a far, but have some pretty good sound...

"I Want To Sing That Rock 'N Roll" - 2006-10-07

"Jackson" - 2006-10-07

For more info make your way on over to her official website.

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