A Friend of a Friend
Format: Audio CDChange
Price:$11.99+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2009
Reasons this is a 5 star album---tracks 1, 4 and 9; great vocal harmonies (to be expected from Gillian and David); David's guitar playing (of course); and the overall Rawlings-style production that makes the music sound so effortless.

One thing that leaves me slightly disappointed is the limited new material (tracks 2 and 3 have been released on other albums and tracks 4 and 8 are covers). I've been told that one could also argue that track 5 is a semi-cover since the melody was taken from an old blues song, but since I was not familiar with that song, it was new to me. So out of 9 songs only 5 of them were "new". To be fair though, the Oberst/Young cover is so fantastic, it kind of has a life all its own. It's just been so long since their last album, I really wanted MORE.

The main thing that I am not crazy about is the heavy-handed Old Crow Medicine Show bleed into the Gillian and David sound. I know this is simply a matter of taste--I like OCMS and own a couple of their albums--but I would prefer that their influence be more subtle. Tracks 6-8 could easily appear on an Old Crow album with guest vocalists David and Gillian. I'm not a purist who despises the idea of them straying from their usual two guitar/two vocals routine. I just don't love the idea of Gillian and David sounding like guests on their own album.

But if you're a fan, you're going to buy this album and you're going to like it. It's nice to see David Rawlings get the accolades he deserves and I'm excited to add this to my collection.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2009
The first from Dave Rawlings Machine is also the latest from him and his long time partner in sweet harmony, Gillian Welch. Dave and Gillian coauthored most of the tunes and it's nice to hear their music from a new angle. It's still simple and sublime. Dave, as any who have been to their live performances already know, can really sing as well as pick and he carries the lead very nicely thank you. But, come on Gillian, let's have a new one from you as well.

This is a damned fine effort so go and buy it folks.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2009
I cannot add anything to Lara Chetkovich's review. I give it five stars on the merits of "Ruby" alone and out of gratitude for Rawlings and Welch returning with another album. I found Chetkovich's criticisms to be appropriate and support them, but I could not find it within myself to give this anything lower than five stars.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2010
I grew up on CSN&Y, Stones etc..., and therefore take an immediate liking to this music of Dave Rawlings Machine (DRM). It displays roots in country, folk, blues, bluegrass and jazz. Just what I like. I can imagine the Stones picking up on the exquisite opening track (Ruby) and doing something strange and wonderful with it. I am saying this not to detract from DRM, but to emphasise the stature of their songwriting. I love also the range of emotions the songs take one through, from sad and pensive (Ruby, Cortez the Killer, Bells of Harlem) to light-hearted and funny (Sweet Tooth). After all, music should be entertaining too! The songs are very finely crafted, something which could easily be overlooked if one listened only superficially to them. And this reveals what is best about them: they are so wholesome and HONEST. The simplicity is beguiling, because real artistic prowess makes what is actually very difficult seem so simple. I am delighted to have discovered this music, and surely recommend it to anyone who claims to have decent taste.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2010
Dave and Gillian have a sound that cries for vinyl, but as far as I know, they have released only on CD. There are many of us who would rejoice in a vinyl release.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2010
anyone who has listened to david rawlings partnering with gillian welch has probably often wondered why they weren't billed as Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, or simply Welch & Rawlings. They certainly seem to compliment one another and be integral to each others songwriting and music making. This album is another tribute to their combined powers, while also being distinctly Rawlings in flavor. The songs that make their first appearance on this record stand out, Ruby and Sweet Tooth, How's About You, It's Too Easy... are all great original numbers. The difference besides the obvious that Welch's vocals are turned down and Rawlings are turned up is that the songs lean more towards Rawlings sensibility, which is slightly lighter, upbeat, playful. Overall, it's a good record, with some great moments. The renditions are distinctly Rawlings and are good, but don't surpass the originals. To be Young, I Hear them All, Method Acting, Cortez. Lastly, and I have to say this... I've been DYING!!! for another Gillian Welch record. This isn't it, which is a tribute to Rawlings' singularity. However, for those of us who love Gillian's sensibilities and voice... we'll still be waiting. By the way, for me, also, Gillian goes to the core. She's one of the most important songwriter/singers in my life. She de-cores me. She hardcores me. ha. Seriously. There's great music and then there's music that compels your soul. For me, Rawlings makes great music, but Gillian compels my soul on a different level.

p.s. i have to add i just saw that Rolling Stone gave A Friend of a Friend four stars, which is more than they have given any of Welch's records. They actually gave Soul's Journey only 2. So, let me reiterate my personal feeling. Rolling Stone, no surprise, has a long history of slighting female performers and privileging males. If anyone wants to hear a nice rallying cry against that fact, check out Amy Ray's song "Lucy Stoner." Anyway, I don't want to belittle Rawling's achievement. To me, Welch takes an old style music and makes it edgy and modern all in her dark lyrics and hauntingly interior vocals. She takes something ancient and nocturnal, in emotion, and makes it live. Rawlings writes, produces, and plays good songs. There's a difference. Rolling Stone is totally undiscerning, not to mention chauvinist.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2009
I'll keep it short and sweet. If you like fantastic acoustic guitars, harmonies, and the feeling that the artists are smiling the whole time they're making this music than you should get this album. This album is friendly. Like bumping into someone you haven't seen in while that you really did want to see. It's very smooth and not to overloaded with production. I've been having fun with this one in the CD mix. If you get a chance to see any of the artists that were on this album live definately do so. Good stuff and I hope for more.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2009
Personally... David Rawlings music and persona seems to fall seamlessly (if seamlessly is the right word) and easily into the historic timeline of american roots music. He seems intimately connected to the best of what american music is all about and in the most sincere way. It doesn't exactly feel well planned, complete or meticulously produced... More importantly, it feels authentic. A true piece of americana. I can't wait for more.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2009
A stellar first effort by the wonderful team of Dave Rawlings and Gillian Welch, along with an amazing lineup of "friends", this album is a strong contender for best new talent.

Whether it's Gil or Dave taking the lead, the results are sure to be excellent and from the first strains of Ruby, to the final refrains of Bells of Harlem, we are taken on a journey that is both moody and mirthful.

Having been fortunate to have seen many of his live shows while they were testing out this material, this album is a revelation and a delight to the senses. Tasteful arrangements and great melodies will keep this on repeat for a long time.

Well Done Dave!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 5, 2010
First off, it's a great clever idea by adding "Machine" to the end of a folk musician's name. Dave Rawlings Machine is one of my favorite albums in recent memory. I liked it so much that halfway through it, I had to email my friend and tell him to pick it up.

Granted, it's not like this album explores broad new horizons of music. It is beautiful in that it's something as simple as folk/ singer-songwriter-with-a-guitar, but it's executed so perfectly. It's a perfect mix of good guitar-work, good song choices, and a good voice/delivery by Dave. Some nice appearances too by Old Crow Medicine Show too, which makes me want to immediately go back and re-listen to their stuff. Also, I absolutely loved the "Cortez the Killer" cover of Neil Young's original classic.

If you're a fan of Americana/ roots rock/ alt-country/ folky singer-songwriters, you really need to pick this one up. Granted, it is only 9 songs long (a minor complaint), but they're all solid, no throwaways. Definitely recommended good stuff. I can't wait to pick up whatever the "Machine" does next.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
The Harrow & The Harvest
The Harrow & The Harvest by Gillian Welch (Audio CD - 2011)

Folk Singer Vol. 1
Folk Singer Vol. 1 by Willie Watson (Audio CD - 2014)

Time (The Revelator)
Time (The Revelator) by Gillian Welch (Audio CD - 2001)
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.