Speakers Push Air

The 2009 Top 20 Albums Of The Year: #8
December 23, 2009, 4:01 pm
Filed under: 2009 Top 20

I’m now broadcasting from the frozen wastes of Northumberland, next to an Aga, while people fill stockings and make home-made wreaths out of twigs and shit. Yo ho ho. I need a drink…

Number 8: Dave Rawlings Machine – A Friend Of A Friend

In much the same way that a Gillian Welch album is really a “Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings” album, so this debut album from Dave Rawlings Machine is a “Dave Rawlings and Gillian Welch” album, but flipped – here, his voice and ridiculously good guitarwork are under the spotlight and Welch lends fantastic support. So you pretty much know what to expect – rootsy, often melancholy country and mountain music with gorgeous harmonies. Things are a little livelier here than on most of Welch’s releases because Old Crow Medicine Show are around to throw some extra sounds into the mix, and Rawlings’ tastes are foregrounded, most notably with a cover of Neil Young’s Cortez The Killer. There’s also a great version of To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High), which originally appeared on a Ryan Adams album. Goes without saying, this version is better. Rawlings hasn’t reinvented the (cart)wheel here, but there’s nothing wrong with the odd known quantity and this is excellent from start to finish.

Dave Rawlings Machine – Sweet Tooth
(A Friend Of A Friend, Acony Records)

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