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The Harrow & The Harvest

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Editors’ Notes

The Harrow and the Harvest, Gillian Welch’s fifth release, is her most patient and pared-down to date. No drums or electric guitar here, just hushed beauty and near-telepathic interplay between her and musical partner David Rawlings. The harmonica and banjo at the beginning of “Six White Horses” sounds nearly raucous in comparison to the gorgeous understatement spread across the rest of the album. Though the mood is often melancholy, the album still feels as soothing as watching a lazy river flow. Rawlings mines the seams of Welch’s vocals and guitar chords for just the right notes to accent the melodies. Sometimes his fretboard runs are bluesy and direct, as on “Scarlet Town” or “The Way It Goes,” while elsewhere they are so subtle they float away like fog before the next line starts. Their harmonies have a similar interconnectedness. At times it’s difficult to tell where one voice ends and the other begins, and their vivid imagery, dark and poignant tales, and rich turns of phrase worm into your consciousness with elegant ease. Timeless and sublime, The Harrow & The Harvest was well worth the wait.


Born: 02 October 1967 in New York, NY

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Gillian Welch first appeared on the folk scene as a young singer/songwriter armed with a voice and sensibility far beyond her years, earning widespread acclaim for her deft, evocative resurrection of the musical styles most commonly associated with rural Appalachia of the early 20th century. Welch was born in 1967 in Manhattan and grew up in West Los Angeles, where her parents wrote material for the comedy program The Carol Burnett Show. It was as a child that she became fascinated by bluegrass and...
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