The Harrow & the Harvest, a triumphant and haunted collection of original folk songs that brought Welch renewed critical attention following an absence of eight years after the release of her previous record. Such tracks as “Scarlet Town” are highlighted almost as much by Rawlings’ spiky shards of acoustic guitar as they are by Welch’s rich, mournful vocals. As its title implies, the love song “Dark Turn of Mind” is weighed down by somber emotions, and similarly stark tunes such as “Tennessee” are marked by the careful, quiet spaces between words as much as they are by Welch’s consoling vocals.
Even when Gillian Welch is billed under her own name, she is always accompanied by her longtime partner, singer-guitarist David Rawlings, much as she often performs with his band Dave Rawlings Machine. Tonight the duo revive Welch’s 2011 album,