David Rawlings – Poor David’s Almanack

  • September 12, 2017

The original American Almanac – Ben Franklin’s “Poor Richards Almanack” was known for its use of humorous wordplay and its still surviving contributions to American vernacular. David Rawlings’ latest LP “Poor David’s Almanack” is a lighthearted and spontaneous musical take on the almanac tradition. Rawlings, with longtime collaborator Gillian Welch, marries anecdotes, stories, and sayings to warm vocal twangs and superlative guitar picking for an up to the minute collection of old time Americana. Welch, who penned 5 of the album’s 10 songs, harmonizes seamlessly, almost interchangeably with Rawlings on “Cumberland Gap” a stomping, ominous take on “the devil of a gap” in the Appalachians sung about by both Woody Guthrie and Jason Isbell. The mood lightens in the clapping, banjo and fiddle driven “Money is the Meat in the Coconut”, the same mood carries over in “Yup” a deadpan tale of the devil taking a stolen farmers wife on a thwarted trip to hell. In addition to Welch, Rawlings is joined on the album by Willie Watson and Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show fame, as well as Punch Brothers’ Paul Kowert and Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith of Dawes. “Poor David’s Almanack” embraces the American roots tradition with quirky playfulness and honors it with skill and imagination. An excellent, grow on you album from one of the best on the Americana scene. – Written by SLynch



SIMILAR | Rachel Baiman, Norman Blake, The Honeycutters, The Mastersons, Gillian Welch