Gillian Welch, Soul Journey

Amelia Raitt

By Amelia Raitt

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

A return to form of sorts, Soul Journey sees Gillian Welch and long-time collaborator David Rawlings coming back to modern instruments after the stripped-down Time (The Revelator). “Modern” and Welch, however, only means that someone brought the magic of a drum kit and an electric guitar back to her attention. She uses both to stunning effect on the closer, “Wrecking Ball,” while the opener “Look at Miss Ohio” only needs a steady drum beat, an acoustic, and a sturdy bass guitar to convey the freedom of driving with the “rag-top down.” Rest assured, purists. There's still plenty to chew on: “Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor” and “I Had a Real Good Mother and Father” are bluegrass traditionals rendered solely by voice and guitar.