The Revelator Collection

Acony RecordsIn my book singer Gillian Welch can do no wrong. With one of the most achingly beautiful voices in folk/country music right now, Welch scored big with her last album Revelator (and co-producing credit on the runaway smash soundtrack O Brother, Where Are Thou?). Here, fans have a chance to see what her mesmerizing live show is like with this special video collection filmed by Mark Seliger.

The black-and-white, 59-minute DVD features three nicely shot videos from RCA Studio B in Nashville during the recording of Revelator (lots of intimate close-ups), and follows that with nine inspiring live performances filmed last year at the Cat’s Cradle in Carboro, N.C., and the Bijou Theater in Knoxville, Tenn. In addition to strong Welch material, several live covers are included: terrific versions of Bob Dylan’s “Billy,” Neil Young’s “Pocahontas,” Townes Van Zandt’s “White Freightliner Blues” and Bill Monroe’s “I’m On My Way back to the Old Home"—all masterfully handled by Welch and her guitarist/partner, David Rawlings, whose starkly emotional playing makes for some of the most riveting solos and back-up harmonies you’ll find anywhere.

Oft-cited for the timelessness of their moving stories-within-songs, Welch and Rawlings are helping make folk relevant again with a haunting mixture of old school (Carter Family, Stanley Brothers) and new-millennium influences. The only bummer is that her classic "My Morphine" (recently covered by David Johansen and the Harry Smiths) is not included here.