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Poor David's Almanack

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Gold Class Drum

by David Rawlings

Feature Records for the week beginning Mon 14 Aug 2017

David Rawlings Poor David's Almanack (PBS Feature Record)
The Gillian Welch/David Rawlings musical partnership expands to its eighth installment with the release of Poor David’s Almanack. Initially it was Welch at the forefront and the most recent release in that format was The Harrow and the Harvest in 2011. The first David Rawlings release (then known as the Dave Rawlings Machine) A Friend of a Friend came out prior to Harrow, but we now have two releases since, Nashville Obsolete in 2015 and now this brand new album.

Fans of both versions of the Welch/Rawlings partnership will be thrilled with this release, with the Welch ones probably more so, as this album by Rawlings is his most “Welch like” of the three released under his name. That is, it has a more folk-like feel than his previous two releases. The familiar harmonies with Welch are there and the songs have that Appalachians feel that you’d expect from a Welch release. The album was recorded in Nashville, using analog tape, during week long recording sessions. As with the previous album, the personnel used were similar to those we saw here last year during the memorable Welch/Rawlings tour. Willie Watson returns, as does fiddle player Brittany Haas & Paul Kowert (Bass). Added to the mix are Ketch Secor from the Old Crow Medicine Show and Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith of Dawes.

Combined they have made a wonderful album. Highlights include “Midnight Train” that features the aforementioned harmonies with Welch and “Guitar Man” which shows Rawlings at his most Neil Young like, of whom he has always cited as a big influence. Other songs are more in the folk tradition (“Yup” and “Good God a Woman”), humorous but with a tinge of sorrow and sadness, as is tradition in the genre. Overall, it’s pure Americana at it’s finest and another worthy addition to the Welch/Rawlings catalogue.

Myles O'Neil Shaw 5FT High & Rising

Gold Class Drum (Featured on The Breakfast Spread)
Two years ago Gold Glass jumped out of the Melbourne underground with the release of It's You to a rapturous reception. Lean, rhythmic post-punk with deceptively poppy hooks and stunning vocals - it was hard not to be knocked head over heels. It catapulted their sharp, engaging live show from The Tote front bar to festival stages across the country and around the world. Their second album Drum stings with the focus of a band hardened and sharpened by lengthy tours.

Vocalist Adam Curley continues to patiently compose detailed and complex self-portraits. These statements of self definition kick back at those who seek to reduce and minimise others - standing strong against the gale of a society looking to bend you to its will. Capable of both intimate vulnerability and acidic asides, Curley holds court as the rest of the band hammer out churning, shifting rhythms. Departing drummer Mark Hewitt's intricate and disciplined work provides a solid platform that frees Evan and Jon to further explore sparse minimalism in their dramatic guitar play.

More cohesive, confident and abrasive than their last record Gold Class have taken another giant leap forward.

Nick Brown The Breakfast Spread

This week's Top 10: 
David Rawlings - Poor David's Almanack
Gold Class - Drum
Sand Pebbles - Pleasure Maps
Trailer Trash Tracys - Althaea
Nadia Sirota - Tessellatum
Black Cab - Akira
This Is The Kit - Moonshine Freeze
Cam Butler - Find Your Love
K-HAND - Project 6 EP
Kutmah - TROBBB!

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