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David Rawlings has quietly emerged as a master of Americana

David Rawlings long lived in the shadow of his both musical and romantic partner, Gillian Welch. He would burst to the fore ocassionally with his unique acoustic solos, delivered heart-rendingly on his 1935 Epiphone Olympic.

Otherwise, he seemed content to reside in the background, singing subtle harmonies and bringing his unique musical approach to her work. Many perhaps underestimated how great his compositional impact was on her songs, with his use a beautiful, subtle dissonance.

His reticence to step into the limelight began to fade with the creation of his band, the Dave Rawlings Machine. Gillian now played second string, singing harmonies and providing rythm guitar, while even ex-Led Zeppelin John Paul Jones played mandolin with the band on occasion.

The result was a masterpiece of Americana, in the form of the 2015 album Nashville Obsolete, a highlight being the The Weekend, a song about a journey form Nashville to the Pacific Coast:

2017 saw the band release another studio album, Poor David's Almanack. Brittney McKenna of Rolling Stone magazine said of this work, "Start to finish, the album is a testament both to {Rawling's] immeasurable talent and to his essential place in the roots and Americana music scene. It's also a chance for a guy otherwise happy to play sideman or stand behind the boards to step out just a touch further into a well-deserved spotlight."

Check out the Dave Rawlings Machine in their joyful, synchrony below, with the song, Short Haied Woman Blues. The quiet man of Americana has slowly and humbly become an undisputed master of the genre.


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