August 9, 2009 – 4:21 am

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

Newport Folk Festival 2009 [no label, 1CD]

Live at the Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI, August 1, 2009. Generally very good FM recording.

Don’t know what kind of day you’ve been having or intend to have. But if you are thinking of taking it easy, then this might be the ideal show to put on*.

Just to set the mood… Without sleep for about 36 hours (Welch and partner Rawlings - “We’re a two-piece band called Gillian Welch,” she once explained - had been travelling, there’s an interesting quip about luggage still stuck at the airport and being escorted to the show by the police), without her glasses or contact lenses, Welch said she was feeling kind of zonked out - with everything in front probably looking like something from The Yellow Submmarine - and, in keeping with the spirit of the moment, she latches on to White Rabbit, one of the highlights of the show, exquisitely backed by Rawlings on the guitar.

Which doesn’t mean Gillian Welch had gone psychedelic. It just means there is a nice mellow touch to the songs, and there’s no tut-tut-ing even if you are out of step waltzing along. Much has been written about Welch’s bluegrass background but it is her direct and easy style that reaches out to you.

She doesn’t set the world on fire though she does let you know what’s on her mind. The show begins with the cheery I Want To Sing That Rock And Roll but the largely acoustic setting allows the listener to ruminate even on the death of Michael Jackson (by way of Elvis via Elvis Presley Blues); that hazy First Lover that fortunately did not lead to anything serious; being an outsider in Red Clay Halo and Orphan Girl and getting a sort-of wake-call in Revelator.

Welch’s unassuming manner is very affective and appealing and those new to her will probably end up searching her albums.

*This show is great for late night listening too.

Thanks to tamlyn for sharing the tracks on the Dime site and to Rembrant and dogegio for the artwork. tamlyn noted: “Multi-path [radio] interference at times, more noticeable with headphones.”

Note: Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

These tracks are no longer available for download. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you want to download them at a later date.

01. I Want To Sing That Rock And Roll [2:41]
02. Filler [0:43]
03. Elvis Presley Blues [4:57]
04. Filler [0:59]
05. My First Lover [3:15]
06. Filler [0:44]
07. No One Knows My Name [3:21]
08. Filler [1:02]
09. It’s Too Easy [3:55]
10. Dear Someone [3:20]
11. Red Clay Halo [3:23]
12. Look At Miss Ohio [4:20]
13. Throw Me A Rope [5:12]
14. Filler [1:26]
15. White Rabbit [2:55]
16. Filler [1:23]
17. Orphan Girl [3:30]
18. Revelator [7:00]
19. Filler [0:47]
20. I’ll Fly Away [4:56]

Gillian Welch’s last album was 2003’s Soul Journey and she has a new album in the works. Click here to order Welch’s albums.

Click here to watch an 11-minute interview the unassuming Welch did at the No Depression Festival in Redmond on July 11, 2009.


  2. I have two of her CDs and I don’t listen to them all that frequently, but when I do I usually end up saying, “Man, she’s great”. This is a really good live performance. Thanks for the post.

    By Dave C. on Aug 10, 2009

  3. Thanks, these guys are great! Can’t wait to hear this. Question for you: I downloaded some cuts off of a recent post, seems like was Lowell George, emmylou, and Jesse Winchester joins them. I have the songs–can you send me the information on it? [email protected].

    Thanks again for all your great work!


    By Brad on Aug 11, 2009

  4. Hmmmm … what a treat. Welch and Rawlings never disappoint … wonderful musicians and musicologists if that exists! I’ve been enjoying recently their performance at the 2001 New Yorker Tribute to Bob Dylan … their version of Idiot Wind is quite stunning. They should release it officially somehone. Cheers and thanks ….

    By Canute on Aug 11, 2009

  5. Came to her music by way of Orphan Girl sung by Emmy Lou. My wife was pregnant with our first daughter and wouldn’t listen to the Welch record before Carson was born. Once she was here safe, sound, and not an orphan she fell in love with the music. Read Ivan Doig’s “Bucking the Sun” and think of Gillian’s first as the soundtrack. Thank you.

    By riley on Aug 14, 2009

  6. Very nice - good quality recording..

    By Kenny on Aug 19, 2009

  7. Just listening to this on itunes and have to admit that Tamlyn’s comment re ‘Multi-path [radio] interference at times, more noticeable with headphones’ does hold true. I just listened to this stream which seems a lot better

    Maybe it’s possible to replace your version? If’n you can be arsed…
    Best Jason

    By Jason on Aug 27, 2009

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