Gillian Welch – The Harrow & The Harvest (2011 Album Review)

Released 2011 with Warner Bros.
Produced by David Rawlings
Art & Design by John Dyer Baizley

I have just listened to Gillian Welch’s, The Harrow and the Harvest for the first time.  The couple describe their music as American Primitive – a classic genrelisation.  The album is very folk rock, with a ‘Waify’ feel to it, although whilst there is a dynamic to the album, it seems to me synonymous with the word ‘down’.  Veterans of the genre and well respected as musicians, Dave and Gill have built a cult following since their first album release in 1996 and later, music for the Coen Brother’s triumph in O Brother, Where Art Thou?

There were indeed moments of foot tapping as I meandered through ‘That’s the way that it goes’.  However, like much of the other material, there is an underlying current of darkness.  With no loyalties nor contrarian nature to crook these virgin ears, I felt hollowed out by album’s end.  As a lapdog to his sire, ever hoping for a morsel of… something, I was sorely disappointed.  That being said, perhaps four pints and a gloomy, brooding mood will help me truly connect with what was meant.  After all, there is always a time and place.


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