First, do you pronounce the ‘G’ as in Gilligan, or as the ‘J’ in Jill? Second, what would you say most characterizes her songs? There is a song by Split Lip Rayfield called “Just Like a Gillian Welch” song, and, not being familiar with her music, I’m not quite sure what the point or suggestion of the title is.
Gillian (pronounced “JILL-ian,” just like the actress Gillian Anderson) sings a combination of folk and bluegrass and old-school country… music you could call “Americana.” You heard her if you saw the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou, as one of the siren singers along with Allison Krauss and Emmylou Harris. She has a beautiful voice, and if you like Split Lip Rayfield (I’m impressed someone else knows them!), you ought to check her out.
You can also SEE her in the movie. She’s the customer at the general store asking for the Man of Constant Sorrow record who’s told they just can’t keep it in stock.
Her album Soul Journey, despite the unfortunate name, is incredibly fine.
Great singer and songwriter. Though I’ve heard the name pronounced with both hard and soft Gs.
Not to mention holy cow. Now that’s a woman you marry.
Moving thread from IMHO to Cafe Society.
Thanks for moving the Czarcasm. Must have been asleep when I posted it.
Looks like she could fly with those ears!
Are you sure? I saw her live once, opening for Guy Clark, and I remember it being a hard “G”.
She is an amazing songwriter and performer. I would compare her to Townes Van Zandt. When I saw her, she was dressed in an ill-fitting skirt and blouse, like a young girl from a very poor family would wear to school. No make-up, and long hair that was not cut at an expensive stylist. But she burns with a purity that sears your soul. Watching her, I was consumed with envy that someone could be so completely one with their music. I also enjoyed her stage “patter”; she’s a bit self-conscious when talking, but very down-to-earth and with a sardonic sense of humor.
Her web site says she will appear on the June 25th episode of Austin City Limits on PBS. there’s your chance to check her out.
Then you’d know better than I. I just heard it from someone who owned an album, and thus seemed like a better-informed person than I was.
I agree with the others in the hard "G’ camp.
IMHO her music could be characterized as dark country/bluegrass
I highly recommend her album Hell Among The Yearlings which, aside from being frigging great, has my favourite song of her’s on it… One Morning
Also, count me in with the fans of Split Lip Rayfield… love those guys.
I Googled “Gillian Welch” + “pronounced” and got at least five cites that say it’s a hard “G”. According to this one, Welch is pronounced “welsh”. I remember it being “Welch”, but I’m not positive.
Gillian’s music is definitely influenced by early country. I know she’s a fan of the Carter Family and you can hear that influence as well. I would characterize her music as slow, sometimes sad, sometimes heartbreaking. That Split Lip song seems to be referencing her style and mood, given their general crazy, fast nature.
I also agree that it’s a hard ‘G’. I am partial to her Time (The Revelator) album. Especially the final song, I Dream A Highway. That song just so simple, and gorgeous and perfect. I highly recommend a long drive on a dark night, listening to that album.
Also, her guitar player, David Rawlings, is simply awesome.
I have to say, if anyone likes Gillian Welch, you need to check out one of my all-time favorite female singers, Neko Case.
Just bumping this to say that I just caught her on Austin City Limits (They only give her 30 mins, boo). She’s awesome. I got copies of her albums from a friend last year but I never really gave them a chance. I’m all over them now…
Hard ‘G’, as in Gilligan.
Her albums are rather depressing, that’s what SLR may have been referring to.
I saw her, Greg Brown & Ani DiFranco do a show her about 4 years ago. They did a segment where someone would shout out a feeling or word, and all three would have to do a song pertaining to it. It went fine, then someone shouted ‘love’, or ‘happiness’, can’t remember. I thought, what in the world is Gillian going to do because her songs are so sad. She didn’t even try, she just sang some song that might have had the word love in it, but it didn’t even touch the theme. She’s real good, I personally like her albums from first to last in that order–‘Annabelle’ being my favorite(about a girl who dies at age 5 if I recall).