The Dave Rawlings Machine began as antidote and anodyne to the fame achieved by Rawlings’ partner Gillian Welch, whose austere and mythopoeic folk had become a bar set so high only a bar band could slip around it and reset expectations. Those loose Nashville jams have resulted in three albums for the guitarist and now band leader, the most recent being Poor David’s Almanack, credited to Rawlings himself and sounding like the Basement Tapes meets Harvest, without the latter’s string section and with much of the former’s collaborative, un-self-conscious spirit. The always self-effacing Rawlings now has the spotlight; his vision of American music — fun and deceptively fierce — is beginning to set its own bar.
Fear Not, the Hits Are Coming: While Rawlings has enough material to fill a marquee set, the songs of his comrade Welch always get their due.
Watch the video for "The Weekend" below:
The Dave Rawlings Machine
8 p.m. Thursday, August 17. The Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Boulevard. $38 to $40. 314-533-9900.