DAVID RAWLINGS’ NEW ALBUM, POOR DAVID’S ALMANACK, OUT NOW ON ACONY RECORDS
TOUR DATES CONFIRMED
Acclaimed songwriter and guitarist David Rawlings’s third album, Poor David’s Almanack, is out now on Acony Records. NPR hails the album as “a sweetly engaging, impressively wide-ranging collection of American roots music” and it can be purchased on all formats here.
For Poor David’s Almanack, Rawlings leaves the Dave Rawlings Machine moniker behind and serves up a wry mixture of acoustic and electric music rich in ageless American vernacular. The album of ten new songs 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 long time 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.
Poor David’s Almanack was premiered in its entirety this Monday as an NPR First Listen and recently, 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 premiered the first single from Rawlings’ forthcoming album, “Cumberland Gap”. The rollicking cut features Gillian Welch, and Rolling Stone Country calls it “haunting” and a “Southern Gothic stomp.”
The touring iteration of Rawlings’ band, the all-star Dave Rawlings Machine, will embark on the first leg of a national tour this August to support Poor David’s Almanack, as well as perform favorites from the first two Dave Rawlings Machine records, A Friend of A Friend and Nashville Obsolete. Full list of dates below and you can find more info here.
Gillian Welch’s The Harrow & The Harvest, her latest album and a collaboration with Rawlings, was released for the first time on vinyl on July 28th. Poor David’s Almanack is also available as a phonographic record, and you can read more about Rawlings and Welch’s vinyl process in this recent Wall Street Journal article.
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 Berkley American Masters Award in 2016.
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.
Dave Rawlings Machine Tour Dates – Tickets at http://www.davidrawlingsmusic.com/tour
August 17 /// St. Louis, MO /// Sheldon Concert Hall SOLD OUT
August 18 /// Kansas City, MO /// Folly Theater
August 20 /// Lyons, CO /// Rocky Mountain Folks Festival
August 23 /// Minneapolis, MN /// Pantages Theatre
August 24 /// Madison, WI /// The Capitol Theater
August 25 /// Chicago, IL /// Thalia Hall
August 26 /// Bloomington, IN /// The Bluebird
More dates to be announced soon.
Singer. Grammy-nominated songwriter. Producer. Award-winning guitarist. Since kicking off his career with 1996’s Revival — an album billed under Gillian Welch’s name, but featuring the indispensable co-writing, harmony-singing and instrumental chops of her musical partner — 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.”