In interviews surrounding the release of this summer's The Harrow & the Harvest,
Gillian Welch has chalked the album's eight-year gestation period not up to writer's block, but to her own exacting standards. Whatever the cause, the ten tracks are proof that she's lost none of the spark or insight that has kept her at the top of the Americana singer-songwriter heap for fifteen years now. Musically, the album keeps things spare and simple — Welch and guitarist/harmonist David Rawlings don't need much besides a few guitars, a banjo and their ethereally fused voices to either soothe or shake your soul.
Last Time: At the duo's August 2007 show at a packed Duck Room, Rawlings paid tribute to hometown hero Chuck Berry with an impromptu dash at "Maybellene."