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.
|Label:||Warner Bros Uk|
Performance CreditsGillian Welch Primary Artist,Guitar
Mark Ambrose Acoustic Guitar
Greg Leisz Dobro
David Rawlings Guitar
Jim Boquist Bass Guitar
Matt Andrews Bass
Ketch Secor Fiddle
Technical CreditsGillian Welch Arranger,Composer,Instrumentation
David Rawlings Composer,Producer,Instrumentation
Matt Andrews Engineer
Steve Peloquin Illustrations
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Soul Journey based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
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.