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Hell Among the Yearlings

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iTunes Review

Hell Among the Yearlings is the second release by Gillian Welch and her songwriting partner David Rawlings. It’s an affecting work filled with richly woven tales of death, despair, and the drugs (namely morphine and whiskey) often used to dull the pain. As with her impressive debut, Revival, these songs fit, both in subject matter and sound, into a long line of old-time folk music stretching back to the Carter Family, the Stanley Brothers, and beyond. The song arrangements are spare and spooky and the performances rustic and raw, and the inclusion of banjo on “The Devil Had a Hold of Me,” “One Morning,” and “Rock of Ages” adds a critical element to the overall feel. Elsewhere, “Honey Now” veers into rockabilly territory and includes electric guitar, bass, and drums, and the haunting “Whiskey Girl” features quietly commanding piano. For the most part, though, the album is dominated by the duo’s crisp and economical guitar playing and emotionally direct vocals. Welch’s slightly twangy voice is understated yet powerful and Rawlings adds perfectly plaintive harmonies throughout.

Customer Reviews

Gillian invents her own genre

The song doesn't get much airtime, even at her shows, but 'One morning' is something else. Like all music a certain degree will depend on what type of music you like. But i think we all agree that lyrically though less may be better, the ability to say more with less separates the very good from the masters. What's more, gillian writes in a genre that never existed, but she's so good at it, you swear it's been around as long as the primitive America she reflects. If you like songwriting for the sake of songwriting, download 'One morning.'


Caleb Meyer is overwhelming and by far the gem of the album - but there are tremendous tracks here that weave into you a love of the twenties and a feel for their difficulty.

Medicine for my dark soul.

Another work of art by the master of "dirt roots". Anything less than five stars for her first four albums is an injustice. Itunes would be justified to charge $9.99 just to hear the first 30 seconds of I'm Not Afraid To Die.


Born: October 2, 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...
Full Bio