ACL Live Shots
Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., Oct. 3, 2008
Gillian WelchSunday, Sept. 28, Zilker Park
"Everybody loves a chick with a banjo," laughed Gillian Welch as she strapped on the instrument for the bluesy "My First Lover," and though the Americana stalwart delivered a mesmerizing and mellow set, it was guitarist David Rawlings who stole the show. The duo worked through a generous, if haphazardly organized, portion of her catalog, from Revival's "Orphan Girl" to Soul Journey's "Look at Miss Ohio," with Rawlings' immaculate picking given free reign throughout, mimicking Willie Nelson on "I'm Not Afraid to Die" and distinguishing impressive solos on "I Want to Sing That Rock and Roll" and the extended jam of "Revelator." The pair's harmonies pitched perfectly together on the gorgeous, unreleased, slow-burn ballad "Throw Me a Rope," but it was Alison Krauss joining for the a cappella "Didn't Leave Nobody but the Baby" reprise from O Brother, Where Art Thou? that supplied the set's surprise highlight.