Gillian Welch (from the album Soul Journey release date 6-3-03) - Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings had logged four albums into Gillian’s recording output when Soul Journey was released. After backing the songs on the 2001 release, Time (the Revelator), with just guitar and banjo, Soul Journey rides with a fuller load of instruments for its song delivery, adding electric guitars, drums, and organ. As with all of her album releases, the center point in the recording is the way the words lay over the music, the way Gillian walks through the stories, observing and exposing all she sees.
Gillian Welch encompasses so much music history in her songs with musical foundation that have the feel of old time music yet with modern trappings seamlessly becoming part of the structure. “Wayside/Back in Time” drinks ‘a round to Nashville before they tear it down” with Ketch Secor’s fiddle time stamping a sound that welcomes a heavy drum backbeat and organ chords that touch the tune as it tries to glue the calendar pages back in place. Slow rolling Folk Blues turns the wheel for “One Monkey” and mountain music backs the tale of a seventeen year-old mother and a passing-through-town dad “No One Knows My Name” from the inside diary pages of the young girl telling the story.
The music of Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings can have the fragility of age on songs, as they do with the cover of “Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor” and “One Little Song” on Soul Journey, though the stories that wander through the music never dip their pen in nostalgia. She addresses the mirror as a mask is lifted to reveal a time worn image in “Lowlands”, and Country strums Folk music on the front porch as the collection of friends and family watch the taillights fade on “Look at Miss Ohio”. Gillian Welch put a personal past into closing track, “Wrecking Ball”, giving its character some of her own history playing in college goth (bass) and psychedelic surf (drums) bands as scratchy fiddle and crunchy guitar chords carve emotion into the scenes the verses flesh out.
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