Band: Gillian Welch
Album: Boots No. 1: The Official Revival Bootleg
Label: Acony Records / H’Art
“Gillian Welch is one of the greatest songwriters on Earth. I've spent countless hours poring over the songs on Revival, and they still transport me to another place and time while somehow feeling current and relevant on a personal level. I'm a huge fan. Very happy to see these outtakes and rarities see the light.”–Jason Isbell
“The two-piece outfit called Gillian Welch...is fascinated by the wrinkles and motes of the experience, and has found the notes for them.”–New Yorker
“…A leading voice in roots music.” –Wall Street Journal
“…a national treasure” –New York Daily News
Gillian Welch’s groundbreaking album Revival was released twenty years ago. To commemorate the anniversary, Welch’s own Acony Records will release Boots No 1: The Official Revival Bootleg on November 25th. Personally curated and produced by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, they worked alongside archivist Glen Chausse to mine selections from their extensive vault of analog tape recordings. The two-disc set will feature 8 previously unreleased songs, and include 21 outtakes, alternate versions, and demos from the making of the album such as the earliest home demo of “Orphan Girl” which was recorded on a four track and the rarity “Georgia Road,” a song that was only performed live once. The demo “Dry Town” was written the week after Welch and Rawlings opened for Johnny Cash. Gillian Welch is currently on tour as part of the Dave Rawlings Machine and has confirmed tour dates in December.
Of the album, Gillian Welch says, “I’m happy that the songs hold up. That’s probably the thing I’m most proud of. There is that interesting moment in any writer’s first batch of songs or any writer’s first novel or anything, a filmmaker’s first movie that always seems to have something that is different from what comes after. Something happens in that first push. Maybe because you’re usually up against more resistance. But there is a purity or a diamond hardness to the first batch that doesn’t seem to happen again. And so Revival has that when I look at it. Maybe it’s lack of ego. You know, there really was no me. You know, the artist Gillian Welch didn’t really exist. And then after that, I did.”
Revival was Grammy nominated and was highly praised by critics worldwide including The Los Angeles Times who claimed, “…At every turn she demonstrates a spark and commitment that should endear her to anyone, from country and folk to adult pop and rock fan, who appreciates imagination and heart,” Paste Magazine who named Revival the 3rd “Best Alt Country Album of All Time,” and Entertainment Weekly praised, “…winsomely authentic…[Revival] gets an early lead on debut-of-the-year honors.”
On the influence Revival and Gillian Welch had on him, Seth Avett of The Avett Brothers adds, “I was 13 years old when Gillian Welch won a songwriting contest at Merlefest with the song “Orphan Girl.” Shortly after, when Revival was released, I remember feeling like she and the festival were one and the same...like she and the environment around her were the past and the future of music, and unbelievably, they were right down the road from me in my home state of North Carolina. She and David Rawlings contributed mightily to a whole new understanding of what and how a song could be. The simplicity, finesse and timelessness of their work was inspiring beyond measure. The music of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings was magic for me then and it is magic for me now.”
Gillian Welch and musical partner David Rawlings have recorded 7 studio albums and have lent their talents to countless fellow artists’ recordings. In recognition of their remarkable career, Welch and Rawlings were honored with the Americana Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting in 2015 and the Berklee American Masters Award earlier this year.