I enjoyed reading this. They are superb musicians, and their records are near live performances, recorded more-or-less live to TAPE.
Thanks- love their stuff, have seen them (both as "Gillian Welch and David Rawlings" and "Dave Rawlings Machine" ) many times, nothing like them!
that being said, I'm not quite a recording geek, so alot of that went over my head. Damn, they sound so good that if you captured that with two tin cans and a long string it'd still sound amazing! (but the fact that they're recording perfectionists probably helps the sound) only complaint is that I wish they were a little more prolific- Gillian in 20 years has only had, what, five records out under her name? (the last one, the 'harrow and the harvest' being perhaps my favorite, tho they're all great.
Just as I start to think I'm understanding production ok I listen to this and I realise I'm in Paris only knowing schoolboy French Interesting though! Lots to learn.
I know, I am also still waiting for the next Gillian Welch album. For me Harrow and Harvest didn't resonate as much as the earlier stuff.
Fascinating read, @standup, thanks for sharing. Revelator is in my Desert Isand Disks pile. Their mastery of their sound is almost daunting.
@mike skliar Gillian Welch is actually incredibly prolific. Not for herself, but in writing for others She is one of the top songwriters/lyricists. She is one of my heros, and I have studied her work in depth
Quote from Wiki page:
"Welch has recorded songs with a variety of notable artists, including Ryan Adams, Ani DiFranco, Emmylou Harris, Jay Farrar, Alison Krauss, Old Crow Medicine Show, Bright Eyes, Robyn Hitchcock, Steve Earle, Ralph Stanley, The Decemberists, Solomon Burke and Mark Knopfler. Welch and Rawlings' contributions on Hitchcock's album Spooked was described by Christopher Bahn of The A.V. Club as "subtle but vital". She later created the cover art for Hitchcock's 2014 album The Man Upstairs. Mark Deming of Allmusic wrote that their work on Ryan Adams' album Heartbreaker "brought out the best in Adams".
Artists who have recorded songs written by Welch include Jimmy Buffett, Alison Krauss and Union Station, Trisha Yearwood, Joan Baez, Brad Mehldau & Chris Thile, Allison Moorer, Emmylou Harris, Miranda Lambert, Kathy Mattea and ZZ Top."
I enjoyed reading this and gaining insight into the production they put into their music. I am a HUGE Gillian and David fan! When I play I usually include one or more of their songs from The Harrow & The Harvest which I think is maybe their best record.
But I want to make one additional comment/observation on their production stuff for anyone not well versed in production. Don't read this interview and then think you could never do that because it is so technical and they make such a big deal about some, in my opinion insignificant, detail like what brand and model of preamp they use. To me they sound like hardcore enthusiasts and I fully respect that but 99.9% of those who enjoy their music could not care less about these details and if they switched everything no one would even notice!
I'm not saying great production is not valuable...it is! But you do NOT need to select specific pieces of gear and find the perfect studio in Nashville in order to produce excellent music! I think it was David Gilmour who was asked about which guitar and amp and pedals he used to get his signature sound and he replied with something like he could walk into any music store, grab any decent electric guitar and amp and sound just like...yeps, like David Gilmour!