November 9, 2010 – 3:56 am

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

The Revival Demos [no label, 1CD]

These are the demos prepared for the Revival album. Excellent soundboard stereo.

The Revival demos was a burst of creativity for singer-songwriter Gillian Welch. From the 14 songs, 455 Rocket was a single for country singer Kathy Mattea while Emmylou Harris picked up Orphan Girl for her Wrecking Ball album in 1995. Welch herself chose only four songs from this 1995 session for her debut album, Revival. She would record just one more, Red Clay Halo, for her third album Time (The Revelator). Otherwise, these songs remain unreleased.

Gillian Welch’s last album was 2003’s Soul Journey. In 2009, she was part of the David Rawlings Machine debut album, A Friend Of A Friend. She co-wrote five of the songs with Rawlings, her longtime partner. Otherwise, Welch has been on the road with Rawlings and no new songs have emerged.

A drought has set in on that original optimism. Listening to The Revival Demos, it’s hard to imagine what has happened? On the other hand, Ryan Adam’s prolific output has not helped his career much. Adams started in 1995 with Whiskeytown and if you include all his albums since then, he has four times more releases than Welch’s miserly four. Ryan Adams remains in the fringes of popularity like Gillian Welch.

There’s not a wasted track on The Revival Demos. Hopefully, reports from 2009 that Rawlings and Welch are back in the studio will see some new songs and a new album, hopefully next year.

Thanks to Scouser Art for the covers. This recording was distributed by Dylanvine.
- The Little Chicken

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 224 kbps).

Due to the size of some of the files, please be patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Track 01. 455 Rocket (covered by Kathy Mattea) (6.6MB)
Track 02. Play It Slow (6.4MB)
Track 03. Tear My Stillhouse Down* (6.4MB)
Track 04. Orphan Girl* (6.3MB)
Track 05. Pass You By* (5.9MB)
Track 06. One More Dollar* (7.2MB)
Track 07. Red Clay Halo** (5.4MB)
Track 08. Birds Of A Feather (6.4MB)
Track 09. Making Time (4.0MB)
Track 10. I Don’t Want To Go Downtown (5.7MB)
Track 11. We Must Look Like We’re In Love (4.3MB)
Track 12. Forty One Dollars And Change (5.5MB)
Track 13. Unfinished Business (5.8MB)
Track 14. Why He Needs Me (5.2MB)

* These songs later produced by T Bone Burnett made it to the finished 1996 Revival album.

** This song was finally released in a different form on her third album 2001’s Time (The Revelator).

Gillian Welch’s released album, Revival, used only four songs from the demos she wrote. Click here to order the album.


  2. An incredible treat.

    By John on Nov 9, 2010

  3. She’s awesome. Thanks for the post.

    By Dave C. on Nov 9, 2010

  4. Hey Big O Bro!
    Thanks for this! Huge Gillian Welch and David Rawlings fan - this is a gem!
    Thank you SO much for all you make available to us

    Andy S

    By Andy Swapp on Nov 9, 2010

  5. downloaded these long ago. absolutely fabulous, but required pitch correction. saw gil, dave, et alia last month. gil says new album is almost done.

    By Joshua Solomon on Nov 9, 2010

  6. I too have had this for years - but it is a great set for those that love her and are so tired of waiting - lots of good Gillian boots out there to be had - all of which are so much better than David’s official release - sorry but I was so disappointed with that.

    By Dwight Schrute on Nov 10, 2010

  7. thanks very much, what a treat

    By michael b on Nov 10, 2010

  8. “A drought has set in on that original optimism. Listening to The Revival Demos, it’s hard to imagine what has happened?”

    It’s pretty obvious what happened. She stated it very plainly in “Everything is Free” off of 2001’s Time (The Relevator).

    As for that next album…don’t hold your breath.

    By aburtch on Nov 11, 2010

  9. in a month of outstanding music bob plant ,sun ra,bruce and the stones and all the other favorites along comes this gem thanks

    By david franklin on Nov 11, 2010

  10. Thank you for sharing this collection. It really plays as one of her best works, in my humble opinion. I love Gillian’s records–all of ‘em, but this, man, this is incredible. “We Must Look Like We’re in Love” is one of the catchiest things I’ve ever heard. Thanks again, many thanks.

    By chris edwards on Jan 15, 2011

  11. Good to hear this again, thank you Bigo. Love all these versions, but these ears are glad that Tear Your Stillhouse Down got the slower, moodier rendering on the official release.

    By kingpossum on Apr 2, 2014

  12. I just discovered this set. Looking forward to listening. However, Track 12 doesn’t work anymore. Can it be fixed?

    By Exooregon on Sep 21, 2015

  13. Please ignore the request I made today. I found it elsewhere. Sorry to bother you!

    By Exooregon on Sep 21, 2015

  14. First off, thank you for uploading this! However, a few of the tracks aren’t working for me at the moment (#’s 2, 3, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13).

    By Chris L on Jul 10, 2017

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