Only got these words on a stone
Maybe it's my BX/Yonkers upbringing but I tend to get hung up on "realness" in music. I get the slightest touch of a sneer if I find out that musician X who likes to sing about hard times is a rich kid who grew up with two parents, three cars and five bathrooms. Reverse snobbery? Yeah, I suppose. I don't particularly love that side of me. The fact is, if you are an artist the grew up poor, authenticity is a treasured possession. Hard times are irrefutable. Shit, government cheese is irrefutable. You take that background of yours and you flaunt it.
I just saw I'm Not There last weekend and while I'm not ready to talk about that yet* it made me realize yet another valuable Bobby Z contribution to my psyche; he made middle class kids exploring the cotton fields acceptable to me. It is because of him that I can't hate on Gillian Welch for singing about leasing twenty acres and one jenny mule. Thank you Dylan.
Annabelle/Gillian Welch (mp3)
Contributor Jared sent this to me recently, he's on a dust bowl kick. I hadn't heard it in a long time. I'm still a mite uncomfortable about the over-pronounced, dry husk twang but I get over it since the singing and storytelling are so good. Sad as the tale of Annabelle may be, Welch tells it without a trace of self-pity. It sounds like someone who doesn't have the luxury to linger over their lot in life, they simply plod on, their faith their only saving grace.
Annabelle (Live)/Gillian Welch and David Rawlings (video)
Purchase Revival by Gillian Welch on Amazon Digital.
* ...she said ominously. Nah, I loved it but I think it deserves more than a pithy thumbs up. Review is being worked on. For really reals.