August 7, 1998 |
At a time when quality songwriting in pop music is so rare that few club acts can hold an audience's interest for even a fraction of the usual hourlong set, Gillian Welch did something quite remarkable Wednesday at the Troubadour. After a deeply absorbing hour of her spare, Appalachian-style tales of troubled times and tortured souls, Welch and her partner David Rawlings announced they were going to take a brief break and then return for another hour.
July 26, 1998 |
The Appalachian sounds, subject matter nd syntax still seem a bit suspect coming from a Los Angeles-raised singer-songwriter--especially with the wealth of "authentic" material available now. Sure, some top-flight artists have done amazing things appropriating from other cultures--e.g., Mick Jagger singing American blues. Much of this music by Welch and her partner David Rawlings, though, is mere stylistic mimicry.
July 19, 1998 |
Summer is a notoriously fallow time for the music industry. While consumers are spending more time at the beach than at record stores, labels are busy gearing up for the fall, when they tend to roll out their A-list releases. But this looks like a summer for retailers to remember--from indie-rock darling Liz Phair, who will finally put out a new album after a four-year hiatus, to R&B forces Tony Rich and Mary J.
June 27, 1996 |
It's strange the way sad songs often make us feel so good. In Gillian Welch's sensitive tales of hard times and troubled souls, there's a measure of grace and compassion that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit. While the pop world has been cheering the arrival of a host of great new female artists in rock and soul, there is also a remarkably talented group of '90s women in a folk and country vein, including Alison Krauss and Iris DeMent.
June 2, 1996 |
Gillian Welch is clearly a young woman who adapts easily to strange, unfamiliar surroundings. Having been stuck in traffic all day en route to a gig at Manhattan's Irving Plaza, the singer is more than happy to plunk herself down on an old sofa in the club's ladies' lounge--the only room in the venue that's relatively free of noise and chaos--and chat for a few minutes.
April 14, 1996 |
GILLIAN WELCH "Revival" Almo Sounds * * * * You've got to be awfully good or unusually confident to record a song that has already been committed to disc by Emmylou Harris, even if you wrote the song. So, you know right away that Welch is as fearless as she is talented when you hear this 28-year-old open her debut album with "Orphan Girl," which first appeared last year on Harris' "Wrecking Ball" collection.