After an eight-year hiatus from the studio, songwriter Gillian Welch recently released The Harrow & The Harvest, casting herself back into the spotlight as the darling of Nashville’s folk singers. With her sundress and cowboy boots, and husband David Rawlings strumming and singing high harmony beside her, Welch is the picture of timeless simplicity. The Harrow & The Harvest didn’t take so long to release because of hiccups in production. Once the songs were ready, Welch and Rawlings sat down with their guitars and sang. Recordings were mostly done in one take. Sing the song right the first time, then call it a day, pour a glass of sweet tea, and go read a book on the porch. Her new song, “Hard Times,” tells about a man and his mule, painting a rural, time-forgotten picture. But when she sings over a simple banjo melody, “Hard times/ain’t gonna rule my mind/sugar,” it’s easy to melt and forget all about today’s recession or whatever’s troubling us and remember that oftentimes, a couple guitars and someone to sing with are all we really need.
Price: $29.50 (adv.)