Soul Journey

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Lydia Vanderloo
Over three albums, Gillian Welch and partner David Rawlings have carved out a small yet evocative niche in country-folk with an acoustic sound steeped in tradition but resolutely modern in expression. Welch earned a Grammy for her work on O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Best Folk Album nominations for her two previous discs, including 2001's Time The Revelator, which boosted the intensity of her music with a distinctly rock 'n' roll sensibility. Soul Journey finds Welch and Rawlings more relaxed in tone and more varied in arrangements, which makes for an album as comfortable and lived-in as a pair of old Levi's. Right away something's different: About a minute and a ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Lydia Vanderloo
Over three albums, Gillian Welch and partner David Rawlings have carved out a small yet evocative niche in country-folk with an acoustic sound steeped in tradition but resolutely modern in expression. Welch earned a Grammy for her work on O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Best Folk Album nominations for her two previous discs, including 2001's Time The Revelator, which boosted the intensity of her music with a distinctly rock 'n' roll sensibility. Soul Journey finds Welch and Rawlings more relaxed in tone and more varied in arrangements, which makes for an album as comfortable and lived-in as a pair of old Levi's. Right away something's different: About a minute and a half into the plaintive, strum-and-twang opener, "Look at Miss Ohio," you hear the steady beat of a drummer keeping time, rarely heard in the music of this acoustic, harmony-focused duo that's taken so many lessons from the Louvins. In fact, a rock backbeat bolsters cuts such as the lost-love reflection "Wayside/Back in Time," the slow-burning, electric bass-driven "Lowlands," and the loose-limbed album closer, "Wrecking Ball" -- not a cover of the Neil Young song but a Dylanesque jam fueled by electric guitar, fiddle, and a swirling organ. In between, Welch sprinkles acoustic ballads that spotlight her blues-tinged vocals -- call it the low lonesome sound -- including the traditional blues "Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor" and the orphan's lament "No One Knows My Name." Respectful of the past while soldiering the music forward, Gillian Welch has made yet another powerful statement -- a Soul Journey that proves psychically fruitful.
All Music Guide - Zac Johnson
Gillian Welch and David Rawlings may, in fact, shock and appall folk purists with their fourth album, Soul Journey. "Are those drums?" "Is that an organ?" "Wait a minute, is that an electric bass?!?" The album uses these musical elements to drive home a living-room, lazy-summertime jam-session feel that hasn't really shown itself on Welch's previous releases. The album's opener, "Look at Miss Ohio," evolves into her toughest rocker since "Pass You By" on her debut, Revival, and the whole album culminates in the relative cacophony of "Wrecking Ball," a drunked-up barroom stumble highlighted by Ketcham Secor's loping fiddle lines and Rawlings' fuzzed-out guitar solo. Between these bookends is a mixed bag of traditional folk songs "Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor," "I Had a Real Good Mother and Father", loose blues phrasing "Lowlands," "No One Knows My Name", and a number of trademark Welch/Rawlings near-whispered murder ballads and orphan love songs. The thing that shines through most clearly is that the group had a lot of fun making Soul Journey, but that doesn't necessarily translate into a terrific album. Aside from a handful of real solid honest-to-gosh gems, the whole album feels a little too casual and off-the-cuff to stand on equal footing with her other recordings. The choruses often become just repeated phrases over and over again "Lowlands," "No One Knows My Name," "I Made a Lovers Prayer," and the unfortunate "One Monkey", and the songwriting seems less developed, as if the initial construction of the song has taken a back seat to the sheer enjoyment of performing it. That being said, it is a wonderful, dusty summertime front-porch album, full of whiskey drawls and sly smiles, floorboard stomps and screen-door creeks. While it does not exactly meet the impeccable standards that her previous three releases set, it is still a fine addition to her discography and well worth listening to all summer long.
Entertainment Weekly - Will Hermes
[Welch's] smoky Appalachian porch moan has never sounded deeper, realer, or sexier. (A-)
Blender - Arion Berger
The album expands on Welch and Rawlings's guitar-banjo setup... but the sound is still high and lonesome.

[Welch's] smoky Appalachian porch moan has never sounded deeper, realer, or sexier. (A-)
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/3/2003
  • Label: Acony Records
  • UPC: 805147030527
  • Catalog Number: 470305
  • Sales rank: 28,763

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Gillian Welch Primary Artist, Guitar
Mark Ambrose Acoustic Guitar
Greg Leisz Dobro
David Rawlings Guitar
Jim Boquist Bass Guitar
Matt Andrews Bass
Ketcham Secor Fiddle
Technical Credits
Stephen Marcussen Mastering
Gillian Welch Arranger, Instrumentation
David Rawlings Producer, Instrumentation
Matt Andrews Engineer
Steve Peloquin Illustrations
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Amazing! Gillian's Best

    I thought nothing would beat Time (The Revelator) and the chills I get from "I Dream a Highway", but Soul Journey is the better complete album. Each song tells its own story of an American experience in a unique and beautiful way. I cannot recommend this album more highly.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews