Negative associations are an interesting phenomenon. For example, granola gets a bad rap. I’m not sure how it started, but “granola” is frequently associated with hippies. Sure granola is rustic, healthy and earthy, but it isn’t just for hippies. After all, I love red meat, bacon and a drum stick as much as the next guy, but I also think a good homemade granola mixed into some yogurt is a delicious breakfast. It’s crunchy, but when mixed with dried fruit it is also sweet, flavorful, and aromatic. Dismiss it if you’d like, but you’re missing out. And sure, I could pair granola with a “hippie” band, but I think that would miss the mark. Instead, I think this recipe calls for a pairing that is earthy, rustic and honest. And while very few would expect to find a musician born in New York City and raised in Los Angeles to be one of the best contemporary bluegrass musicians/songwriters–it’s a fact. Gillian Welch’s 2001 album, Time (The Revelator), is a collection of stunning, plaintive ballads, and works as the ideal pairing for this recipe.
On Time (The Revelator), as on all of her records, Welch is joined by her partner, David Rawlings. Between Welch’s earnest, rustic vocals and Rawlings’ precise, intricate finger picking and guitar playing – the duo offer a powerful one-two punch. In addition to recording a series of excellent Gillian Welch records (including this one), the duo are also the greater part of Ryan Adam’s secret weapon on his classic album, Heartbreaker. The album’s opener is “Revelator”: a hauntingly lovely ballad, as sincere as it is moving. “Red Clay Halo” is a full bodied romp that manages to rock despite a complete absence of percussion. Similarly, “I Want to Sing That Rock and Roll” might be an acoustic country song, but it isn’t hard to imagine it as an electrified rock anthem. It is also my favorite example of the finger-picked guitar solos that made me fall in love with Welch and Rawlings in the first place. The album contains a number of other standouts including “Elvis Presley Blues” and “Ruination Day, Pt. 2”. Pick it up over at Insound.
Gillian Welch – I Want To Sing That Rock and Roll
Gillian Welch – Black Star (Radiohead Cover)
Head back to eating/sf for the recipe to make your own everyday granola.
And, you might be interested in this live rendition of “I’ll Fly Away” performed by Gillian & David at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco that I recorded during their October 7, 2006 set: