Gillian Welch announces new archive release

Gillian Welch - David Rawlings
Photograph by David Gahr

Gillian Welch confirms the digital release of Boots No.2: The Lost Songs, Vol.1 via Acony Records, the independent record label she and partner David Rawlings founded in 2001. The new collection is unearthed from a cache of home demos and reel-to-reel recordings and is the second release of archival music from the vault of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings.  This remarkable 48 song collection, spread over three volumes and produced by David Rawlings, was recorded between the making of Time (The Revelator) and Soul Journey. It is an intimate glimpse at the artist’s sketchbook, containing some lifelong themes as well as some flights of fancy. The versatility and quality shown here greatly expand the Welch/Rawlings canon, and confirm that the acclaimed studio albums from the pair have never been an accident, but a clear artistic choice. Boots No.2: The Lost Songs, Vol.1 will be available digitally on July 31st and is available for pre-order. Boots No. 2: The Lost Songs, Vol. 2 and Vol. 3 will follow in the coming months.

Gillian Welch also releases the first two songs from the collection, ‘Strange Isabella’ and ‘Mighty Good Book’.

Said the duo about the release, “We stashed these recordings away years ago. Their shortcomings, real or imagined, technical or compositional, no longer seem bothersome today. Hearing them now is like seeing snapshots that captured moments the more formal portraits missed. So here we are hurrying them for release before the next tornado blows the whole shoebox away.”

“These songs disorient you in time because Gillian Welch blends past and present in a way that makes the past, present.” Jedediah Purdy writes in the album’s liner notes. “To listen through Boots 2 is to feel you have gotten thoroughly lost, and maybe drunk or worse, in a landscape of strangers. It is also to feel that, wandering through that landscape, you might actually never have left your house, and it might not matter whether you did or not, since you have become a stranger to yourself. It is like going through weeks when the sun refuses to shine, or maybe your body just refused to go out and meet it, because the sun had become hateful to you. Saying that it feels this way — which it does — risks making this music sound like a bummer. It is not. It is a trip. It is also a joy.” He further expounds, “by making art of an experience that, in life, is usually fraught with inarticulacy and bewilderment, these songs make obscurity vivid, strangeness intimate, dissolution into something solid and alive. Music like this makes broken existence fleetingly whole.”

Boots No. 2: The Lost Songs comes after 2016’s Boots No. 1: The Official Revival Bootleg, a double album of unreleased outtakes, alternate versions, and demos from the making of the seminal 1996 debut album. Pitchfork said of the initial collection, “witnessing gradual transformation can be revelatory, and several early takes lay bare the process of refining Gillian Welch into “Gillian Welch” with staggering clarity,” and NPR Music adds, “the whole thing serves as a tremendous reminder of how and why this partnership came to matter so much.”

Gillian Welch & David Rawlings recently released All The Good Times, a new album of ten acoustic covers recorded at home on a reel-to-reel. The album contains songs by Bob Dylan, John Prine, Elizabeth Cotten, and Norman Blake, as well as new arrangements of traditional songs. Rawlings said of the release: “In the Spring of 2020 Gillian and I dusted off an old tape machine and did some home recording. Sometimes we bumped the microphone, sometimes the tape ran out, but in the end we captured performances of some songs we love. Five are first takes and five took a little more doing, but they all helped pass the time and held our interest in playback enough that we wanted to share them with you. We sincerely hope that you enjoy All The Good Times. The album is available on all formats.

Artist’s website: https://gillianwelch.com/

‘Strange Isabella’:


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