David Rawlings
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David Rawlings
David Rawlings
David Rawlings performing in 2014
Background information
BornNorth Smithfield, Rhode Island, U.S.
GenresBluegrass, Americana, folk, old time, neotraditional country, American primitive guitar
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Dave Rawlings Machine, Gillian Welch, Willie Watson

David Todd Rawlings is an American guitarist, singer, and record producer. He is known for his partnership with singer and songwriter Gillian Welch.[1]

Life and career

Rawlings attended the Berklee College of Music and studied with Lauren Passarelli.[2] He produced albums by Gillian Welch, Willie Watson and Old Crow Medicine Show. He leads the Dave Rawlings Machine with Gillian Welch, Willie Watson, Paul Kowert, and Brittany Haas. John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin has been known to play mandolin with the band occasionally.[3] He contributed to the albums Cassadaga by Bright Eyes, Spooked by Robyn Hitchcock, and Heartbreaker by Ryan Adams, with whom he wrote two songs, "To Be Young (Is to Be Sad, Is to Be High)" and "Touch, Feel and Lose".[4] His vocal style has often been compared to that of Bob Dylan.[5][6]


A Friend of a Friend (2009)

The Dave Rawlings Machine album A Friend of a Friend was released on November 17, 2009. Rawlings recorded the album in Nashville, and produced it himself. Gillian Welch is credited as a co-writer on five of the album's songs as well playing in the band with members of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Bright Eyes.[7][8] The album features a medley of a Neil Young and Bright Eyes song, as well as songs Rawlings co-wrote with Ryan Adams and Old Crow Medicine Show.[5]Morgan Nagler (of the band Whispertown) is credited with co-writing the song 'Sweet Tooth.'[9]

Nashville Obsolete (2015)

In 2015 Dave Rawlings Machine released a second album, Nashville Obsolete.[10] The album was named to Rolling Stone's list of the top 40 country albums of 2016.[11] In late 2016 Acony issued Boots No 1: The Official Revival Bootleg, a deluxe version of the 1996 Welch album considered a "modern Americana classic" and the first collaboration for the duo.[1]

Poor David's Almanack (2017)

Poor David's Almanack, released on August 11, 2017 via Acony Records, is the eighth collaborative LP for Rawlings and Welch and the first under the name David Rawlings.[12][13] In addition to Welch and Watson, the backup band includes Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show, and Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith of Dawes. The album was recorded with Ken Scott and Matt Andrews at the Rawlings/Welch duo's Woodland Sound Studios in Nashville.[14] The album features an original woodcut piece by Gillian Welch on the cover and was notably the first vinyl release on Welch and Rawlings' Acony record label.[15][16]

Start to finish, the album is a testament both to his immeasurable talent and to his essential place in the roots and Americana music scene. It's also a chance for a guy otherwise happy to play sideman or stand behind the boards to step out just a touch further into a well-deserved spotlight.[14]

-- Brittney McKenna, Rolling Stone


Rawlings achieves his signature guitar sound flatpicking a small archtop guitar. The 1935 Epiphone Olympic that has been his primary instrument was a mid-priced guitar for its time, with a carved arched solid sprucewood top, carved arched solid mahogany back and mahogany sides.[17] It sold for about $35 in 1935.[18] The guitar's lower bout measures 13 5/8 inches wide, and it has three piece f-holes.[17]

Rawlings "scavenged" the guitar from a friend's attic and is now hardly seen playing anything else. As he states, "I just picked it up. It was filthy, and it didn't have strings. You could just see the shape of it under the sawdust." Rawlings tuned it and brought it to a recording session for the Welch's first record. "As soon as I heard it through the microphone and through the speakers I was like, 'I love this guitar.'" he says.[19]


David Rawlings Records

  • A Friend of a Friend (Acony, 2009)
  • Nashville Obsolete (Acony, 2015)
  • Poor David's Almanack (Acony, 2017)

Gillian Welch Records

As guest

With Ryan Adams

With Bright Eyes

With others


  1. ^ a b "Review: Gillian Welch, 'Boots No. 1 The Official Revival Bootleg'". NPR.org. Retrieved .
  2. ^ "Dave Rawlings takes the lead". Retrieved 2017.
  3. ^ "40 Best Country Albums of 2015". Rolling Stone. Retrieved .
  4. ^ "DAVE RAWLINGS MACHINE - A Friend Of A Friend American Songwriter". American Songwriter. 2009-11-17. Retrieved .
  5. ^ a b "Dave Rawlings Machine: A Friend of a Friend". pastemagazine.com. Retrieved .
  6. ^ Spencer, Neil (2015-09-13). "Dave Rawlings Machine: Nashville Obsolete CD review - laconic but biting". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved .
  7. ^ "Dave Rawlings Machine: A Friend of a Friend". Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ Graff, Gary (September 29, 2009). "Dave Rawlings Steps Into Spotlight With 'A Friend Of A Friend'". Billboard.com. Retrieved .
  9. ^ https://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=137823880
  10. ^ "Dave Rawlings Machine: Nashville Obsolete CD review". Retrieved 2017.
  11. ^ "40 Best Country Albums of 2015". Rolling Stone. Retrieved .
  12. ^ "David Rawlings Readies New Album, 'Poor David's Almanack'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved .
  13. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/aug/06/david-rawlings-poor-davids-almanack-review-gillian-welch-guitar-man
  14. ^ a b "Hear David Rawlings' Haunting New Song 'Cumberland Gap'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved .
  15. ^ "David Rawlings: Poor David's Almanack review". Retrieved 2017.
  16. ^ "Why Vinyl's Boom Is Over". Retrieved 2017.
  17. ^ a b 1934 Epiphone sales catalog
  18. ^ "Acguitar.com". Acguitar.com. Archived from the original on 2010-01-02. Retrieved .
  19. ^ "See Dave Rawlings Talk Vintage Guitars in New Series". Rolling Stone. Retrieved .

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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