Dave Rawlings Machine: A Friend of a Friend (Acony)

 |   |  <1 min read

Dave Rawlings Machine: Bells of Harlem
Dave Rawlings Machine: A Friend of a Friend (Acony)

The quiet and often largely invisible power beside Gillian Welch, guitarist/singer-songwriter Rawlings here comes into the spotlight with a collection of folk-country and alt.folk-rock songs which would mostly not fit Welch's canon but here have an understated charm of their own.

They still possess some of that old time quality which has been a hallmark of his work with Welch but here (with references to televison and the contemporary world) much of this has elements of the early Band, Elton John's Tumbleweed Connection and Neil Young (he slips in Cortez the Killer as a coda to his version of Conor Oberst/Bright Eyes' Method Acting).

Lovely ballads bookend the album (it opens with Ruby which connects the present and the past); he co-writes with Ryan Adams on the sprightly fiddle-driven To Be Young (Is To be Sad, Is To Be High); has fun with Welch on the backporch downhome-style Sweet Tooth and How's About You; guests include Heartbreakers keyboard player Benmont Tench and Kevin Hayes; there's Jesse Fuller's Monkey and the Engineer; and the too-short nine-song set ends with a lovely string-enhanced ballad Bells of Harlem which has the same kind of easy feel as Dylan's most recent ballads on Modern Times and Together Through Life.

Far from just a side-project in downtime, this has the feel of a strong and independent career emergent. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music at Elsewhere articles index

Miriam Clancy: Astronomy (digital outlets)

Miriam Clancy: Astronomy (digital outlets)

Miriam Clancy has been out of New Zealand for more than five years, and it has been a decade since her last album Magnetic which included the extraordinary song Ghost Town.... > Read more

Trentemoller: Lost (In My Room/Southbound)

Trentemoller: Lost (In My Room/Southbound)

Aside from deftly peeling off shadowland intimacy on his own albums, Danish electronica artist Trentemoller also crafted one of the best selections in the LateNightTales a couple of years ago (see... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

REMASTERS, REISSUES AND CREDIT CARD-KILLING SETS COMING UP (2018): Living in a box (set)

REMASTERS, REISSUES AND CREDIT CARD-KILLING SETS COMING UP (2018): Living in a box (set)

By any measure 1968 was yet another remarkable year in rock history, it built on the astonishing debut albums of '67 and established artists like the Beatles and the Stones unleashed some of their... > Read more

THE OTHERS WAY FESTIVAL (2017) Times and other things

THE OTHERS WAY FESTIVAL (2017) Times and other things

The now annual Others Way Festival in Auckland is a showcase for young and up'n'coming bands alongside a diverse range of more established artists. Spread over a number of venues in central... > Read more