POOR DAVID’S ALMANACK
Albums are like novels: each speaks to you with a unique voice in a unique space. Some recorded music is reverb-laden, cavernous and remote, and at the polar-opposite end of possibilities is this new one from American singer/ songwriter/guitarist David Rawlings. Poor David’s Almanack sounds so intimate it’s as if he and his pals are slouched on your couch with their guitars, banjos and fiddles, and no microphone ever came between their music and your ears.
In fact such an audio-verite outcome is a consummate feat of production, achieved using analogue tape. Meanwhile every syllable of Rawlings’ songs and singing seems to have a nucleus of authenticity. For this release he dropped the David Rawlings Machine band name, but still uses essentially the same colleagues, including, of course, the voice of his collaborator of two decades, Gillian Welch, which wraps itself around his own with harmonies that give the earthy songs a fragrance. The new material has an instant familiarity, like meeting someone whom you immediately know will become a firm friend.