DAVID RAWLINGS IS CURRENTLY ON A THIRTY-THREE DATE US HEADLINING TOUR NEW ALBUM, POOR DAVID’S ALMANACK, OUT NOW VIA ACONY RECORDS. AT THE ORANGE PEEL, ASHEVILLE, JANUARY 26
David Rawlings partnered with Apple Music to create a dreamy narrative video for the GRAMMY-nominated single “Cumberland Gap.” Shot on location in Tennessee with acclaimed director James Lees, you can watch it on Apple Music today. It will be available everywhere beginning December 29th.
“Cumberland Gap” is Grammy nominated for “Best American Roots Song” this year and is the lead single off Rawlings’ third album Poor David’s Almanack. NPR hails the album as “a sweetly engaging, impressively wide-ranging collection of American roots music” and Pitchfork says Rawlings “finds new ways of inhabiting old folk music alongside his longtime musical partner Gillian Welch.”
Rawlings is currently on his extensive, thirty-three date US tour, with stops in cities including Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Nashville, Richmond, and Atlanta (full dates below). Rawlings’ “evening with” tour is in support of his new album Poor David’s Almanack, and he and his all-star band will perform two full sets of music each night, including songs off his new album and favorites from the first two Dave Rawlings Machine records, A Friend of A Friend and Nashville Obsolete. Tickets for this tour are on sale now and you can find full information here.
David Rawlings’s third album, Poor David’s Almanack, is out now on Acony Records. For the album of ten new songs, Rawlings leaves the Dave Rawlings Machine moniker behind and serves up a wry mixture of acoustic and electric music rich in ageless American vernacular. Poor David’s Almanack was engineered by studio wizards Ken Scott (Beatles, David Bowie) and Matt Andrews on analog tape during a week of sessions at legendary Woodland Sound Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. Rawlings and longtime compatriot Gillian Welch joined together with Willie Watson, Paul Kowert, Brittany Haas, Ketch Secor, and Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith of Dawes to produce an album for all seasons.
Recently Poor David’s Almanack was premiered in its entirety as an NPR First Listen and The Wall Street Journal ran an in-depth interview with Rawlings, where they hailed him as an “extraordinary folk guitarist with a sympathetic ear and bell like tone,” who “tends to favor thoughtful single-note or arpeggiated solos that follow their own logic and aren’t locked into a cliché.” Rolling Stone Country also premiered the first single from Rawlings’ album, “Cumberland Gap”. The rollicking cut features Gillian Welch, and Rolling Stone Country calls it “haunting” and a “Southern Gothic stomp.”
This release marks the 8th studio collaboration between Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. Their creative partnership spans over two decades and includes the GRAMMY-nominated The Harrow and the Harvest (2011), the much lauded and latest Rawlings release, Nashville Obsolete, which landed on numerous 2015 year-end best‐of lists, and the 2001 GRAMMY-nominated masterpiece Time (The Revelator). All releases are available on Acony Records, the independent label they founded in 2001. In recognition of their remarkable career, Welch and Rawlings were honored with the Americana Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting in 2015 and the Berklee American Masters Award in 2016.
David Rawlings has woven one of the most acclaimed paths in Americana music. He reaches a new destination with his third solo album, Poor David’s Almanack, whose songs point to a frontman who continues walking the fine line between rootsy revivalism and bold innovation.
This is a modern folk album that wears its old-school influences on its sleeve. Like Bob Dylan’s early work, Poor David’s Almanack looks to archetypal songs of the American roots-music catalog for inspiration, using them as launching points for a wildly original tracklist. The high-lonesome harmonies and acoustic fretwork of “Midnight Train” jumpstart the album on an earthy note, while “Airplane” — a southern ballad featuring a string section arranged by Rawlings himself — reaches skyward. Rawlings even evokes the call-and-response format of old field songs during the chorus of “Good God a Woman,” then serenades a lover with the fiddle-fueled, countryfied “Come Over My House.” Throughout its 10-song tracklist, Poor David’s Almanack sounds both fresh and familiar, offering new music rooted in the tradition, texture and twang of the folk songbook.
“This is new territory for me, with songs that stick much closer to classic folk melodies and classic folk structures,” he explains. “Before, if I’d wanted to sing a song like ‘Midnight Train,’ I would’ve covered a traditional song that already exists. This is the first time I looked at myself and thought, ‘Wait, if I want to play music like that, I should make it myself,’ because I love that kind of music and I want to be a creator of it. I want to try and inject some of myself into that folk bloodstream.”
A leader of the contemporary folk revival, Rawlings began releasing albums with Gillian Welch in the mid-’90s, championing a more acoustic-based sound during the heyday of grunge. For more than two decades since, he has juggled multiple roles as a frontman, duo partner, sideman and behind-the-scenes producer. His vocals can be heard on the Grammy-winning soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou?, whose multi-platinum sales and widespread popularity helped introduce old-time folk music to a 21st century audience, and his unique approach to the acoustic guitar has influenced a new generation of forward-thinking folkies, several of whom — including Dawes and Old Crow Medicine Show — have hired Rawlings to produce their own albums. Dawes’ Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith both make appearances on Poor David’s Almanack, as do multiple members of Old Crow’s past and present lineups, including Ketch Secor and Willie Watson. On an album filled with some of the brightest lights in Americana music, though, Rawlings’ star shines the strongest, whether he’s singing in a mercurial voice or leading his band through an instrumental section worthy of a front-porch picking party.
Half of Poor David’s Almanack was written alone — a first for Rawlings, who typically co-writes with Gillian Welch — and songs like “Money is the Meat in the Coconut” have already become staples of his live show, tossed into his setlist days after they were completed. Later, while recording the album to analog tape at Woodland Studios in East Nashville, Rawlings experimented with overdubs and other layered effects. Assisting him were a pair of top-shelf engineers: longtime collaborator Matt Andrews and legendary studio hand Ken Scott, whose work can be heard on landmark albums by the Beatles, David Bowie, and Elton John.
Influenced by new experiences, old sounds and classic books (including Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack, whose title serves as the basis for Rawlings’ own album), Poor David’s Almanack nods to its source material without borrowing. It’s a nod to the past and a step toward the future. “Cumberland Gap,” with its electric guitar solos and coed harmonies, even evokes the California folk-rock of Fleetwood Mac, pushing Rawlings into ever-evolving territory.
“That’s the beautiful thing about this kind of music,” he says. “It’s supposed to be a chain. Maybe it’s supposed to be a chain that looks like a circle. We’re all looking for our best way to contribute to the great musical landscape. We’re all trying to raise some little part of that building.”
David Rawlings- Poor David’s Almanack Track List
01 Midnight Train
02 Money Is The Meat In The Coconut
03 Cumberland Gap
05 Lindsey Button
06 Come On Over My House
07 Guitar Man
09 Good God A Woman
10 Put ‘Em Up Solid
Order the album here.
David Rawlings Tour Dates – Tickets at http://www.davidrawlingsmusic.com/tour
January 17 /// Chattanooga, TN /// Tivoli Theater
January 18 /// Athens, GA /// Georgia Theatre
January 19 /// Charlotte, NC /// Neighborhood Theatre
January 20-21/// Saxapahaw, NC /// Haw River Ballroom
January 23 /// Nashville, TN /// Ryman Auditorium
January 24 /// Birmingham, AL /// The Lyric Theatre
January 25 /// Atlanta, GA /// Variety Playhouse
January 26 /// Asheville, NC /// Orange Peel
January 27 /// Knoxville, TN /// Bijou Theatre
February 27 /// Santa Cruz, CA /// Rio Theatre
February 28 /// Santa Rosa, CA /// Luther Burbank Center for the Arts
March 01 /// San Francisco, CA /// The Fillmore
March 02 /// Santa Barbara, CA /// Lobero Theatre
March 03 /// Los Angeles, CA /// The Theatre at Ace Hotel
March 05 /// Arcata, CA /// John Van Duzer Theatre
March 07 /// Grants Pass, OR /// Rogue Theater
March 08 /// Eugene, OR /// McDonald Theatre
March 09 /// Portland, OR /// Roseland Theater
March 10 /// Seattle, WA /// Moore Theatre