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Dave Rawlings Machine 

When: Mon., Nov. 25 2013
Price: $25
DAVE RAWLINGS MACHINE

For most of his career, Dave Rawlings’ reedy, harmony tenor and spry, flat-picking guitar have counterpointed Gillian Welch’s dusky vocals on her shimmering and earthy LPs. A key player on projects by Bright Eyes, Ryan Adams and Robyn Hitchcock, Rawlings stepped out of the shadows with his 2009 solo debut, A Friend of a Friend. Recruiting past collaborators from Old Crow Medicine Show and Punch Brothers, Rawlings retained longtime musical partner Welch, but flipped the script, advancing to the lead mic while Welch turned hers down. This time out, the powerhouse players welcomed to Rawlings’ Machine include Welch, Willie Watson of Old Crow, Gabe Witcher of Punch Brothers and legendary Led Zep bass man John Paul Jones, here, on mandolin. If JPJ seems an odd fit, consider the pastoral Celtic folk side of the mighty Zep and it all makes sense. Yet for all the heavy hitters, this Machine still treads the trail blazed by Welch & Rawlings as a duo, drawing on Appalachia, the great dust bowl and the Carter Family’s high lonesome sound to craft a vibrant update on the Laurel Canyon cosmic cowboys (and girls) of the ’70s. (Pat Moran)

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