Dave Rawlings Machine Cover Led Zeppelin’s “Going To California”

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

dave rawlings machine gillian welch 2013
Back in November, we brought you a review of Dave Rawlings Machine’s kickoff gig in Knoxville, TN, and included a YouTube video of the band’s rendition of the Led Zeppelin classic “Going To California.” However, we couldn’t help but notice that it wasn’t the strongest performance of the song we’ve ever heard — the sometimes shy, high-singing Rawlings seemed extra shy about going for some of the high notes. “This was a last minute decision,” he warned the ecstatic crowd beforehand, “so if I flub some of the words, don’t be mad at me.” We’re not mad atcha, Dave.

Which is why we we were excited to find that the Machine filmed a new version of the song backstage at The Georgia Theatre a few days later.

It turns out that playing the song is not as “hard, hard, hard, hard as it seems.” Of course, it always helps when you have Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones around to pitch in on mandolin.

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