Dave Rawlings Machine: Pilgrim’s Progress

Dave Rawlings and Gillian Welch dish on the writing of Nashville Obsolete.

[caption id="attachment_157721" align="aligncenter" width="2883"] Outside their East Nashville studio.[/caption]   Rawlings says its all a result of some smart and calculated early choices: keeping the Gillian Welch project insular, and having the knowledge to control certain things, like holding on to masters and even buying the early ones back from Interscope, which housed their first label. “It all comes back to the amount of touring we did as two people in a car,”he says. “We were making about enough money to have another two people, but we didn’t. So we were able to buy recording equipment, the beginnings of a studio. We’d come home and buy a couple pieces, slowly.” One choice Rawlings has made on Nashville Obsolete is to, once again, not make it a complete showboat for his guitar playing, something that scores of his admirers have been wanting for years – because his style, which hovers between flatpicking and improvisational jazz, is a singular one. He plays a quirky, unusual instrument – a 1935 Epiphone Olympic archtop acoustic, which looks almost like a giant, stretched out violin, which he holds with the neck up at nearly a 45-degree angle, pushed out from his body as if it’s…

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