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Fresh (Old) Stuff From Gillian Welch

December 2, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

Boots.jpg

In 1996, singer-songwriter, roots music favorite Gillian Welch, along with her longtime partner Dave Rawlings, released her debut record, Revival. The record, which was produced by T-Bone Burnett, received immediately positive reviews and defined Welch and Rawlings as standout artists in the folk and roots genre, a position that has been reaffirmed many times over the years as the.

20 years later, the duo has released Boots No. 1 The Official Revival Bootleg, a collection of 21 tracks documenting the early days and sounds of the outfit as they carved out their sound and style on their way to creating a celebrated album and becoming Americana royalty. As NPR reports:

“It’s fascinating to follow along as Welch and Rawlings feel their way to their singular sound, whose essential ingredients include “the rawboned refinement of their songwriting, the comely and lilting crooks in Welch’s phrasing, the shimmery dissonance of their harmonies and the prickly, surging ecstasy of Rawlings’ guitar runs.

In the early- to mid-’90s window captured on this collection, Welch was a different singer than the one listeners have come to know, swinging a little harder at times and bearing down a bit more…There’s a slightly unfamiliar quality even to some of the duo’s better-known songs. In the 1993 living-room demo of “Orphan Girl” — the tape from which Emmylou Harris learned her Wrecking Ball version — Welch chirps her lament in a considerably higher register than the one she eventually settled into, and the at-home recording of “Tear My Stillhouse Down” is similarly lighter than the song’s bleak sentiment. Those were mere starting points; the destination, as we well know, was a long-suffering suppleness that bears up beneath the grimmest storytelling. The “bootleg” also rounds up some of Rawlings’ initial romps on a newly acquired archtop guitar, as his flurries of capricious notes reveal a restless intelligence. And so much of the narration — especially in “One More Dollar,” “Barroom Girls,” “Only One And Only” and “Red Clay Halo,” the last of which got shelved until Time (The Revelator) — was already finely etched, even fastidious. The whole thing serves as a tremendous reminder of how and why this partnership came to matter so much.”

Here’s the tracklist:

Disc One

1. “Orphan Girl” (Alternate Version)

2. “Annabelle” (Alternate Version)

3. “Pass You By” (Alternate Version)

4. “Go on Downtown” (Revival Outtake) *

5. “Red Clay Halo” (Revival Outtake)

6. “By the Mark” (Alternate Mix)

7. “Paper Wings” (Demo)

8. “Georgia Road” (Revival Outtake) *

9. “Tear My Stillhouse Down” (Home Demo)

10. “Only One and Only” (Alternate Version)

Disc Two

1. “Orphan Girl” (Home Demo)

2. “I Don’t Want to Go Downtown” (Revival Outtake) *

3. “455 Rocket” (Revival Outtake) *

4. “Barroom Girls” (Live Radio)

5. “Wichita” (Revival Outtake) *

6. “One More Dollar” (Alternate Version)

7. “Dry Town” (Demo) *

8. “Paper Wings” (Alternate Mix)

9. “Riverboat Song” (Revival Outtake) *

10. “Old Time Religion” (Revival Outtake) *

11. “Acony Bell” (Demo)

*previously unreleased

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