On June 8th, I had the pleasure of seeing the Dave Rawlings Machine roll through town. David Rawlings should be well-known for his work with Ryan Adams, Old Crow Medicine Show, Bright Eyes, and, most importantly, Gillian Welch, but for whatever reason his recent album A Friend of a Friend is the first under his name.
I’ve really enjoyed his guitar playing for a while, especially his signature aggressive soloing style, and see his longtime pairing with Gillian as the consummate musical partnership. If you have any doubt of this, see them together play for an NPR Tiny Desk Concert.
Not only did Gillian join him for the show, but so did Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show on fiddle/harmonica/vocals, as well as a couple of other musicians. It was a veritable supergroup of bluegrass and Americana.
They went through most of the terrific songs on Dave Rawlings Machine’s first album, as well as a couple of classics from Gillian’s portfolio, such as Look at Miss Ohio and Wrecking Ball (two of my favorites). The song I Hear Them All, written by Rawlings and Secor, originally recorded by OCMS, covered on A Friend of a Friend, performed by both, was a nice touch. So was This Land is Your Land with all its verses intact.
I really hope that this group continues to make music together under the Dave Rawlings Machine name, especially since Gillian doesn’t seem about to follow up 2003’s Soul Journey anytime soon. They are at the top of my list.