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Gillian Welch

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AboutGillian Welch first appeared on the folk scene as a young singer /
songwriter armed with a voice and sensibility far beyond her years,
earning widespread acclaim for her deft, evocative resurrection of
the musical styles most commonly associated with rural Appalachia
of the early 20th century. Welch was born in 1967 in Manhattan and
grew up in West Los Angeles, where her parents wrote material for
the comedy program The Carol Burnett Show. It was as a child that
she became fascinated by bluegrass and early country music, in
particular the work of the Stanley Brothers, the Delmore Brothers,
and the Carter Family.

In the early '90s, Welch attended the Berklee School of Music in
Boston, MA, where she began performing her own material, as
well as traditional country and bluegrass songs, as part of a duo
with fellow student David Rawlings. After honing their skills in local
open mike showcases, the duo began performing regularly
throughout the country. While opening for Peter Rowan in
Nashville, they were spotted by musician and producer T-Bone
Burnett, who helped Welch and Rawlings land a record deal. With
Burnett producing, they cut 1996's starkly beautiful Revival, an
album split between bare-bones duo performances -- some even
recorded in mono to capture a bygone sound -- and more full-
bodied cuts featuring legendary session men like guitarist James
Burton, upright bassist Roy Huskey, Jr., and drummers Buddy
Harmon and Jim Keltner.

Her sophomore album, Hell Among the Yearlings, followed in
1998. The years following her second release found Welch
involved in several soundtracks (O Brother Where Art Thou,
Songcatcher), tribute albums (Songs of Dwight Yoakam: Will
Sing for Food, Return of the Grievous Angel: A Tribute to Gram
Parsons), and guest spots on other artists' albums (Ryan Adams'
Heartbreaker, Mark Knopfler's Sailing to Philadelphia). Following
the success of O Brother, Welch and Rawlings found themselves
in the center of a traditional American folk revival and released
their third album, Time (The Revelator), in mid-2001. Steady
touring, guest appearances, and the release of a DVD (The
Revelator Collection) kept the pair busy, but in 2003 they found
time to record Soul Journey, their second release on their own
Acony Records label. ~ Jason Ankeny

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