New Zealand Listener - - BOOKS&CULTURE -

Roots Amer­i­cana fans have got used to look­ing for hints and sug­ges­tions of Gil­lian Welch on liner notes and in fes­ti­val line-ups while wait­ing for the fol­low-up full-lengther to 2011’s glo­ri­ous The Har­row & the Har­vest. So the emer­gence of a third “solo” al­bum by long-term mu­si­cal part­ner David Rawl­ings holds ex­tra ap­peal. And it’s not just the odd har­mony, duet and knee slap from Welch that, in re­al­ity, marks Poor David’s Al­manack as the pair’s eighth joint out­ing, be­cause the song choices fit firmly into the rus­tic, old-time sto­ry­telling style they tend to favour to­gether over Rawl­ings’ more ram­bling elec­tri­cal solo out­ings. When he does power up on Cum­ber­land Gap and Gui­tar Man, the re­sult is won­der­fully Crazy Horse-ish, but the stand­outs re­main the re­finedyet-naive hoe-down hollers Yup and Good God a Woman and back-coun­try bal­lad Put ’Em Up Solid.

POOR DAVID’S AL­MANACK, David Rawl­ings (South­bound)

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