A couple of weeks ago Oliver and I were in the Malmö record store and café called Folk å Rock, one of my favourite places. I heard a singer on the radio that intrigued my ears: sharp, languid country folk that I didn’t recognize.
I asked the clerk (Ulf, as it turns out) what I was hearing.
“Gillian Welch,” he said, “an American. First album in 7 years. Fantastic, isn’t it.”
Needless to say, I bought the album: stores that hire clerks that know their music need our support.
I’ve been listening to The Harrow & The Harvest ever since, and I’ve only grown fonder of it. My favourite track is from Tennessee, with the following passage:
Why can’t I go and live the life of riley?
Why can’t I go back home to apple pie?
Because your affront to my virtue was a touch too much
But you left a little twinkle in my eye
I don’t know quite why, but I love those last two lines.
Welch, it seems, has been around for a while – you might remember I’ll Fly Away from the soundtrack of O Brother, Where Art Thou?, a duet she sang with Alison Krauss – and has four earlier albums left for me to plumb the depths of.