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Revival Original recording reissued
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Top Customer Reviews
Gillian Welch is not from Appalachia -- but you couldn't prove it by me that day. It was only later that I discovered this fact. Her style of songwriting, singing and playing never EVER comes across as false or contrived -- her heartfelt love of this music brings an honesty to it that is rare and refreshing in these times.
The combination of her songs and voice with the stunning abilities and sensitivity of David Rawlings (who co-wrote many of these songs) makes listening to this music a powerful, transporting experience. His guitar work is simply (and I mean 'simply') exquisite -- I can't find a song on this disc where his accompaniment isn't perfect. The lines he plays provide just the right background and fill, targeting the mood dead-on. I never get the feeling that he's showing off or posing -- he's simply trying to do everything in his power to frame these songs and Welch's voice for the audience to enjoy and appreciate. On the tracks where he sings as well, their voices blend as if they were destined to do so.
There are several standouts in this set, but every single track here is a 'keeper'. 'Orphan girl' is proably the best-known tune, being covered early on by no less an established performer than Emmylou Harris.Read more ›
Much is made about the fact that a girl from Los Angeles has such a feel for this type of music. I believe Welch's background actually gives her music an appeal beyond bluegrass and country. Yes, it's true that you can't get any more mountain-like than "Tear my Stillhouse Down", and the beautiful "By the Mark" is too deeply religious to make any big city album. But Welch's very best on this album appeals to the sensibilities of both city and country folk: The opening track "Orphan Girl" touches the loneliness in all of us and the hope of reunion; and the painfully sad "Barroom Girls" probably fits better in L.A. than Knoxville.
I'm hoping that Welch stays true to this type of music. Her popularity is exploding as a result of "O Brother, Where Art Thou" and she's getting air time on VH-1 Country with her incredible Elvis song. Please don't let us down Gillian.
I would also note that Christian music fans ought to be singing this album's praises. Several of the songs on "Revival" contain more doctrine, moral lessons, and mentions of Jesus Christ than many so-called "Gospel" or "CCM" recordings.
"Revival" is, quite simply, an American masterpiece.
And if that wasn't good enough, the way they are sung here by Welch and Rawlings is basically as good as can possibly be done. It's as if they are joined at the hip.
OK, it would be good if once in a while, Welch could write a song that doesn't make me want to cry, but these songs are so damn graceful and well written that I forgive her for that. This album is a testimony to the creative spirit. Others have tried to do this type of retro writing and performing. But none hold a candle to Welch. This album is about as close to magic as you're going to find on record.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent songs by one of my most favorite singer/songwriters.Published 27 days ago by Amazon Customer
Gillian's early thirties style of gospel bluegrass is a refreshing change from the airbrushed "country" top forty style of music in this genre. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Kimberly Weninger
Love Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings and their band the Dave Rawlings Machine. Can't believe I never heard any of this album before, but better late than never. Read morePublished 5 months ago by John C. Bahlinger
Gillian Welch is great -- for my money, she accomplishes what Lucinda Williams tries to accomplish but fails. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Maxie
Still listening to her in the car CD. An amazing work with nuances and shadings that with each listen more and more reveal themselves. Read morePublished 11 months ago by dweeb
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