Gillian Welch – Soul Journey (album) – 10th Anniversary – Released 3rd June 2003

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3rd June 2013 is the tenth anniversary of the release of the album Soul Journey from Gillian Welch.

Gillian Welch, an American singer-songwriter, performs with guitarist David Rawlings – he also has donned the producers hat working on albums from artists such as Welch to Old Crow Medicine Show.

Welch and Rawlings have released a number of critically acclaimed albums, with their musical style combining aspects of Americana, Bluegrass and Appalachian music – their songs telling tales with at times bare-bones acoustic instrumentation, including:

* Revival – debut – 1996

* Hell Among the Yearlings – 1998

* Time (The Revelator) – 2001 – received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Contemporary Folk Album.

* Soul Journey – 2003 – saw the introduction of a more upbeat sound to their body of work with electric guitar & drums.

* The Harrow & The Harvest – 2011

Gillian Welch’s career in 2002 received a boost in profile via her contribution to the film soundtrack Oh Brother Where Art Thou?; alongside other American country music artists such as Emmylou Harris and Alison Krauss.

Welch and Rawlings came to be known as leaders of Nashville’s alternative country community, due to the responses garnered from critics and fans, for their albums Time (The Revelator) from 2001 & Soul Journey.

Growing up, Welch was introduced to the music of folk singers such as the Carter Family, Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie which resonates throughout Soul Journey; which could be described as Dylanesque, as the album contains less camouflage between herself and the songs, with Welch’s lyrics encompassing themes of identity and family.

Gillian Welch & David Rawlings – Look At Miss Ohio (live) – http://wp.me/p3uHDF-dH

Gillian Welch & David Rawlings – Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor (live) – http://wp.me/p3uHDF-dM

Credits:

Acoustic Guitar – Mark Ambrose

Bass Guitar – Jim Boquist

Fiddle – Ketcham Secor

Performer [All Else] – David Rawlings, Gillian Welch

Resonator Guitar [Dobro] – Greg Leisz

Producer – David Rawlings

Engineer – Matt Andrews

Engineer [Assistant] – Danny Poland, Jason Fenstermaker

Recorded at Woodland Sound Studios, RCA Studio B and at home.

Design – Frank Olinsky

Illustration – Steve Peloquin

Photography By – Arianna Mercer

Tracklisting:

1. Look At Miss Ohio 4:16
2. Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor 2:45
3. Wayside / Back In Time 3:28
4. I Had A Real Good Mother And Father 3:14
5. One Monkey 5:36
6. No One Knows My Name 3:16
7. Lowlands 3:19
8. One Little Song 3:12
9. I Made A Lovers Prayer 5:03
10. Wrecking Ball 4:56

Gillian Welch & David Rawlings – Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor (live version) (original version on Gillian Welch – Soul Journey album)

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Gillian Welch & David Rawlings – Look At Miss Ohio (live version) (original version on Gillian Welch – Soul Journey album)

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29th May – Released Today – 2012 (Regina Spektor – What We Saw From The Cheap Seats)

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What We Saw from the Cheap Seats is the sixth studio album by American alternative singer-songwriter Regina Spektor.

The album was recorded in Los Angeles during the summer of 2011 with Mike Elizondo, who has worked with artists such as Dr. Dre, Eminem, Fiona Apple, Nelly Furtado, Maroon 5 and Alanis Morissette.

What We Saw from the Cheap Seats is a collection of new material along with the very first studio recordings of several of Spektor’s older live songs.

“Spiking piano-driven songs of heartbreak with comic turns of phrase, cartoon voices and beatboxing outbursts, Regina Spektor has become her generation’s Joni Mitchell– a singer-songwriter who nail-guns emotional truths between wisecracks. Her latest, even tighter and more flamboyant than 2009’s Far, may be her best. Exhibit A: “Firewood,” which treats mortal illness (a recurring theme for her) with elegant surrealism, imagining a piano used for kindling while boldly telling a comrade to “Rise from your cold hospital bed/I tell you, you’re not dying.” Elsewhere, “Ballad of a Politician” is sharp satire, instructing a handshaking officeholder to “Shake it, shake it, baby!” Even apparent novelty songs carry a payload. “Oh Marcello” is a Mafioso narrative with outrageous accents and real pathos; “Open” employs a hysterical gasp for air as a percussive vocal device, to unnervingly powerful effect. “All the Rowboats,” which denounces museums as “public mausoleums,” is telling, coming from a classical-music defector. But more so is “Small Town Moon,” with its mouthful of “baby baby”s and “Whoo!”s, working a delicious metaphor for pursuing your own muse, damn the torpedoes. Here’s hoping Spektor never stops” – ***1/2, Will Hermes, Rolling Stone May 2012

Regina Spektor has come a mighty long way from the grotty East Village bars of the anti-folk scene at which she first started plying her hiccupping, jazz-garnished piano pop trade in at the start of the millennium. Yet even though her sixth album, ‘What We Saw From The Cheap Seats’, was recorded in the glossier surrounds of Los Angeles, on the cover she’s sporting a grandiose military-esque hat atop her ringlets, just like on her first major label record, 2004’s ‘Soviet Kitsch’. In another nod to her past she’s rehashed ‘Don’t Leave Me (Ne Me Quitte Pas)’ for this album, from 2002’s self-released ‘Songs’.

She’s done this before of course, when ‘Samson’ was swiped from the same record to go on 2006’s ‘Begin To Hope’. But why? “These songs come back because they’ve been on a really sparse record,” Spektor explained to NME last month. “I feel like I need to produce them properly, and I can’t rest until that’s done.” It’s true that the new version of ‘Don’t Leave Me…’ is a more polished, brass-boasting beast than the original, but it’s not the most sensational song here, despite being picked as the record’s second single.

As usual, it’s Spektor’s unforced way with a ballad – the sort that will have sensitive young women sobbing into their iPods on the last bus home – that cuts to the emotional quick. The elegant ‘Firewood’ is deceptively simple, managing to skip the schmaltz even when Spektor morphs into a wise auntie, brandishing a tissue and cup of sugary tea, promising: “Everyone knows you’re going to love/Though there’s still no cure for crying”. As remarkable is ‘How’, which is one bottle of Cristal away from being a ’90s R&B belter. Close your eyes and you can imagine Mariah crooning it in a multi-million dollar music video involving candelabras and corsetry while pointing to the sky. In Spektor’s hands it’s not a flashy exercise in the high art of cringe, but a welcoming salvo of true romance” – 8/10, Leonie Cooper, NME

Tracklisting:

1. Small Town Moon

2. Oh Marcello

3. Don’t Leave Me (Ne Me Quitte Pas)

4. Firewood

5. Patron Saint

6. How

7. All the Rowboats

8. Ballad of a Politician

9. Open

10. The Party

11. Jessica

All songs written by Spektor except 2 – Spektor w/ interpolation by Bennie Benjamin, Sol Marcus, and Gloria Caldwell (“Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”)

Personnel:

Regina Spektor: vocals, piano (1-10), keyboards (2-10), marimba (3), co-producer, songwriter

Mike Elizondo: producer, bass (1, 3, 5, 7-10), upright bass (2, 4, 6), electric guitar (1, 6, 7), acoustic guitars (11), programming (3, 5, 7)

Aaron Sterling: drums (1, 3-7, 9), percussion (1, 5, 7), marimba (3)

Jay Bellerose: drums (2, 7, 10), percussion (2, 10), bongos (10)

Danny T. Levin: trumpet (3)

David Moyer: baritone and tenor saxophone (3)

Jack Dishel: vocals (3, 5)

John Daversa: trumpet (10)

Regina Spektor – All the Rowboats (single) – What We Saw from the Cheap Seats (album)

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All the Rowboats is the 1st single from Regina Spektor’s What We Saw from the Cheap Seats album.

Released February 2012.

Regina Spektor – Don’t Leave Me (Ne Me Quitte Pas) (single) – What We Saw From The Cheap Seats (album)

regina - 2nd single

Don’t Leave Me (Ne Me Quitte Pas) is the second single from Regina Spektor’s What We Saw From The Cheap Seats album.

It was released March 2012.

Regina Spektor – How (single) – What We Saw From The Cheap Seats (album)

Regina - How

How is the third single from Regina Spektor’s What We Saw From The Cheap Seats album.

Released October 2012.