Now I know why they call it the Dave Rawlings Machine. First of all, Dave is, without question, a passionate picking machine. Second, the unnamed cog in this two-geared machine, Gillian Welch, has become a household name, and she’s in need of no additional publicity. Why Gillian got the fame and Dave didn’t is a bit of a mystery, but Gillian is a one hundred percent supportive musical partner.
Dave plays an unusual instrument. According to Wikipedia, it’s a 1935 Epiphone Olympic archtop. He sure gets the most out of it.
They’ve collected a repertoire that suits them very well. Some excellent originals and traditionals, of course, and a variety of covers: the song Jackson, Ryan Adams’ When You’re Young (wait, I just looked it up and learned that Dave co-wrote that song with Ryan), Dylan’s Diamond Joe and Queen Jane Approximately, Neil Young’s Cortez the Killer, and, as the last finale, a sweet and soulful Girls Just Want To Have Fun.
I had been expecting a laid-back evening, but I was a bit surprised. They really rocked! Many thanks to my friend Julianne, who had seen them before, recommended them to me, and went to tonight’s show with me.
By the way, they were not too proud to invite Mike McKinley, of our local Harmony Grits, up to the stage with his mandolin, for three or four numbers. Gillian thanked Mike for playing her her first Stanley Brothers Record. Aw.
I couldn’t find any vids on YouTube that rocked as hard as they did at this show, but here’s To Be Young.
To Be Young, Dave Rawlings Machine, Asheville