On her stunning 1996 debut recording, Revival, Gillian Welch captured the hardscrabble spirit of Appalachian music and sent purists everywhere into a tizzy. After all, Welch is no coal miner's daughter; her parents are Hollywood screenwriters. Her second recording, Hell Among the Yearlings, however, should quiet any concerns; she plows deeper into her milieu and creates a dark, often haunting record. Like Chris Whitley with Living with the Law or Neil Young with Tonight's the Night, Welch takes a romanticized setting and artfully strips it of its veneer. On "My Morphine," she sings from the perspective of an addict, and it becomes a wistful love song. "One Morning" describes the plaintive remorse of a mother whose son has just been killed in a gunfight, and on "Miner's Refrain," when she sings "I'm down in a deep dark hole," you can almost smell the soot. Welch sings in a thin, affecting voice; she accompanies herself on guitar and banjo and is backed sparingly by David Rawlings, also on guitar. Welch's work here is vivid proof of the old adage, It's not where you're from, but where you're going.