The Johnny Cash-inspired track from Boots No. 1 gets a stop-motion animation treatment.
A new music video for “Dry Town (Demo)” from Boots No 1: The Official Revival Bootleg premiered this morning on NPR. Click here to watch the delightfully animated film using good old fashioned stop motion, a few plastic dolls and some anthropomorphized shot glasses, created by artist Rachel Blumberg.
“‘Dry Town’ came from a live experience I had on a road trip when I was just out of college,” Welch tells NPR Music in an email. “David and I wrote the song shortly after moving to Nashville, after a show where we opened for Johnny Cash. We were so inspired to meet Johnny and see him in the flesh that we wanted to capture some of that narrative swagger and humor in a song of our own. Since the story is front and center, it seemed like a great chance to bring the song to life with stop motion animation.”
Welch said she gave the toy ’71 Buick featured prominently in the video to animator Rachel Blumberg (a former drummer for The Decemberist, Bright Eyes & M Ward). It soon became the foundation for the video’s whole aesthetic.
“Gillian had seen [the stop motion sketch comedy] Robot Chicken recently and thusly had the idea in her head of using action figures to tell the story in the song,” says Blumberg. “There were a lot of moments when I was inspired by the rhythm of a line, from the phrasing and melody, about how the characters should move, or what little moment was happening. Besides the music, the lyrics have a great visual quality and rhythm and it made sense to interpret things in a very literal way, which I think adds to the humor of the piece.”
It’s no secret that we love posters here at Acony, especially ones by our hometown heroes Hatch Show Print! From now until February 14th, we are offering 20% of All Posters at the Acony Records Online Store. Just enter the promo code “WELOVEHATCH” at checkout and any posters in your cart will get the exclusive discount. We have added to our stock any remaining Ryman posters we have left from the last couple of years, as well as the Fillmore poster from last year’s Dave Rawlings Machine tour made exclusively for that show, and a whole bunch of new t-shirts! Click here to check out the new swag.
Gillian Welch’s groundbreaking album Revival was released twenty years ago. To commemorate the anniversary, Welch’s own Acony Records released Boots No 1: The Official Revival Bootleg on November 25th. Personally curated and produced by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, they worked alongside archivist Glen Chausse to mine selections from their extensive vault of analog tape recordings. The two-disc set features 8 previously unreleased songs, and include 21 outtakes, alternate versions, and demos from the making of the album such as the earliest home demo of “Orphan Girl,” which was recorded on a four track, and the rarity “Georgia Road,” a song that was only performed live once. The demo “Dry Town” was written the week after Welch and Rawlings opened for Johnny Cash and premiered last month on SiriusXM’s Outlaw Country channel and is highlighted on NPR Music. The album is available on iTunes, Amazon, Gillianwelch.com and more.
Order Boots No. 1:
1. Orphan Girl (Alternate Version)
2. Annabelle (Alternate Version)
3. Pass You By (Alternate Version)
4. Go On Downtown (Revival Outtake)
5. Red Clay Halo (Revival Outtake)
6. By The Mark (Alternate Mix)
7. Paper Wings (Demo)
8. Georgia Road (Revival Outtake)
9. Tear My Stillhouse Down (Home Demo)
10. Only One and Only (Alternate Version)
1. Orphan Girl (Home Demo)
2. I Don’t Want to Go Downtown (Revival Outtake)
3. 455 Rocket (Revival Outtake)
4. Barroom Girls (Live Radio)
5. Wichita (Revival Outtake)
6. One More Dollar (Alternate Version)
7. Dry Town (Demo)
8. Paper Wings (Alternate Mix)
9. Riverboat Song (Revival Outtake)
10. Old Time Religion (Revival Outtake)
11. Acony Bell (Demo)
photo by John Patrick Salisbury
Of the album, Gillian says, “I’m happy that the songs hold up. That’s probably the thing I’m most proud of. There is that interesting moment in any writer’s first batch of songs or any writer’s first novel or anything, a filmmaker’s first movie that always seems to have something that is different from what comes after. Something happens in that first push. Maybe because you’re usually up against more resistance. But there is a purity or a diamond hardness to the first batch that doesn’t seem to happen again. And so Revival has that when I look at it. Maybe it’s lack of ego. You know, there really was no me. You know, the artist Gillian Welch didn’t really exist. And then after that, I did.”
The New Yorker: Twenty Years Of Listening to Gillian Welch
By Jedediah Purdy, September 9, 2016
Gillian Welch, the Los Angeles-raised musician, whose lyrics and voice conjure Appalachian hollows, Dust Bowl highways, and Nashville morphine dens, released her first album, Revival, twenty years ago. Several of the songs sounded as if they might have been written a hundred years earlier. Welch’s alto is rich and tarnished, with a roughness that hints at a tired or heat-baked throat. In “By the Mark,” she promised, “By the sign that shines / Upon His precious skin / I will know my savior / When I come to Him / By the mark where the nails have been.” Welch wrote from the perspective of the type of people the folklorist Alan Lomax had sought out in the nineteen-thirties and forties—poor, usually either exploited or forgotten—whom Lomax and other revivalists saw as carrying organic traditions of sound, feeling, and imagination. In “Annabelle,” a poor sharecropper whose young daughter has died reflects, “Till we’ve all / Gone to Jesus / We can only / Wonder why.” Other songs on Revival were first-person laments, confessions, or boasts from moonshiners, migrant fruit pickers, and bootleggers.
Gillian Welch’s friends thought she had become the victim of some kind of scam when she told them she was going to play a thousand-person audience festival at Cloverleaf Farm outside of Athens, Ga. They thought it was too good to be true. Wildwood Revival, taking place over Aug. 25-27, placed Welch and partner David Rawlings in an open-air barn, playing on Saturday night after a string of far lesser-known acts. That is, far lesser-known in comparison to Welch, who by the way, just landed two spots in our recent list of the 50 Best Alt-Country Albums of All Time, with her debut Revival in the number three spot. It was rare that a band or artist didn’t mention how grateful they were to be on a festival bill with Welch from the stage over the weekend.
Gillian has added new tour dates in North Carolina and Virginia this August as the acoustic duo make their way to Athens, GA, for the Wildwood Revival Festival on August 27th. Stops include first time visits to Lexington, VA, and Brevard, NC, as well as revisiting old haunts in Raleigh, NC and Charlotte. See below for ticket links or visit gillianwelch.com/tour for all links and updates.
We are so saddened by the loss of Guy Clark yesterday. The world has lost one of its great observers and souls. Guy was one of my most vocal, and inebriated, supporters when I moved to Nashville. He used to recite my lyrics aloud at dinner parties and barrooms to people who said they had never heard of me. He took Dave and I out on the road with him for our first tour through Texas, where I learned more than I could ever say. I could never thank him enough for his support and his artistry. Thank god for all his beautiful songs and recordings, for I don’t know what I would do if I could never hear his voice again. I love you Guy.
Gill and Dave will be playing duo shows this June in Bowling Green and Lexington, on their way out to the Nelsonville Music Festival in OH. Tickets on sale Friday! Ticket links and more info on the Tour Page.
Gillian and Dave recently graced the Nashville stage at Music City Roots, where they each accepted the American Master Award from their alma mater Berklee College of Music. Watch their performance of “Everything is Free” below. The entire show can be streamed on MusicCityRoots.com
The Dave Rawlings Machine has added two show in the Colorado this summer, before making it’s way to the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. DRM has shows in Fort Collins on Tuesday, June 14, and Denver on Wednesday, June 15. Both shows go on sale this Friday, March 25th. See the DRM tour page for more info.
With the jet lag fading, and the dust settling after a wild 7,000 k cross-Australian tour, we would like to say a heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who made it such a memorable trip. Here are a few reviews that seemed to capture the moment in words. See you next time!
With the incredible and continuing support that has been shown by music loving fans of Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlings, Love Police Touring are excited to announce a very special musical celebration called DREAM A HIGHWAY featuring Gillian Welch, Dave Rawlings Machine, Willie Watson and Haas Kowert Tice at Festival Hall in Melbourne on February 20.
This show comes at the end of a three week nationwide tour that has seen Gillian and Dave drive some 6937 kilometres of our highways to deliver revelatory shows night after night. Beginning in Perth as the duet Gillian Welch, and rolling all the way East to Melbourne, then North to Brisbane, Gillian and Dave are then joined by three musical amigos to transform into Dave Rawlings Machine for a run of shows all down the East Coast. This last special show will be a gathering of all the possible musical entities this group of extremely talented Artists can deliver.
Tickets for DREAM A HIGHWAY are ON SALE NOW. Please visit the Tour page for the most updated ticket links and the remaining Australian tour dates for both Gillian Welch and the Dave Rawlings Machine.