r&r diary – Time is a Revelator – 11.19.12

I must credit the Lovely Carla for tipping me to the music of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. Carla fell for their music first. I was slow to the draw. But their stripped-down, back to basics approach is very powerful. Two voices, two acoustic guitars; that’s the template, and it’s great. I’m reminded just how much I love the sound of an acoustic guitar. It’s a big part of our band’s sound too. I play a big, beat-up, old Hohner acoustic that I’ve had for many years. I love the organic, sturdy nature of the instrument. There is honesty and truth in the plain sound of a resonant acoustic guitar.

“Leaving the valley and fucking out of sight
I’ll go back to Cali where I can sleep out every night
and watch the waves move the fader
Queen of fakes and imitators, Time’s the revelator”

Gillian Welch’s 2001 disc, “Time (The Revelator)”  was recorded in Nashville. Nothing fancy. No slick production. No studio tricks. It’s just a simple, well-recorded set of songs; no-frill songs that have weight and meaning. It’s a record that really snuck up on me. It’s an eye-opener and a head-opener. Maybe it’s something about time, and how it seems to be accelerating around me. I find as I grow into my old bones, time really does seem revelatory. Gillian has a plain-spoken type of voice. It’s beautiful, but it’s surprisingly knife-sharp too. It’s not for lullabyes, although you might be fooled by it. It’s open, clear and ringing. And David Rawlings is a very gifted guitar player. He’s a player with great technique and style to burn. For some reason, when I listen to this record, I think of Flannery O’Connor and her stark, diamond-hard short stories.  American, elemental, haunting. Beautiful, sad and shining too. Just the finest stuff. – Jammer

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