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Dave Rawlings Machine

Nashville Obsolete coming September 18th

Acony Records proudly presents Nashville Obsolete, the highly anticipated second album from Dave Rawlings Machine.
Recorded on analog tape at Woodland Sound Studios in Nashville, TN, Nashville Obsolete features seven original compositions written by Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings. Produced by Rawlings, Nashville Obsolete highlights the brilliant musicianship of Dave Rawlings and Gillian Welch on lead vocals and guitar, Paul Kowert (Punch Brothers) on bass, Willie Watson on vocals and guitar and guest appearances from Brittany Haas (fiddle) and Jordan Tice (mandolin).

The beloved duo will add another accolade to their career accomplishments as they accept the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting from the Americana Music Association. The award will be presented at the association’s 2015 Honors & Awards ceremony held September 16th at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, which will be taped to air on PBS later in the year. Nashville Obsolete marks the 7th studio album on which Welch and Rawlings have collaborated together in their acclaimed two decade long creative partnership, including their most recent offering, the GRAMMY nominated Gillian Welch release The Harrow and the Harvest (2011), the 2009 Dave Rawlings Machine release A Friend of a Friend which MOJO hailed as “the best Americana debut of the year” in their 4-star review, and the 2001 Gillian Welch masterpiece Time (The Revelator).

Dave Rawlings Machine, whose rousing live show has prompted critics and fans alike to call them “one of the hottest string bands on the planet” (SF Weekly) will support Nashville Obsolete with a world tour to be announced soon. In the meantime, the duo will make a handful of special appearances as Gillian Welch, including the closing slot at the inaugural AmericanaFest concert at the new Ascend Amphitheater in downtown Nashville on Saturday, September 19.

Angela Easterling

With her new album, “Common Law Wife,” acclaimed Americana singer-songwriter Angela Easterling – once hailed by Byrds co-founder Roger McGuinn as “a bright shining star on the horizon” – clearly spells out the direction her life has taken in recent years. “Now I’m a common law wife, living out my life/I ain’t got no license, I’m a common law wife,”

Easterling sings on the classic country-styled title track, joyfully explaining the relationship she
now has with her longtime musical collaborator Brandon Turner.
Recorded with Joe Pisapia (Guster, k.d. lang, Drew Holcomb) at his Middletree Studios in
Nashville, “Common Law Wife” – in addition to sparkling multi-instrumental performances by
Turner – features some of Music City’s finest musicians, including Will Kimbrough, Fats
Kaplin, Dave Jacques and Paul Griffith.
In her typical straightforward fashion, Easterling further reveals how she and Turner arrived at
their “common law” arrangement with such lines as “You’d think I’d learned my lesson ‘bout
those birds and those bees/Well, imagine my surprise then, when the stork came to my door.”
Easterling lives with her partner and their toddler son on the Greer, S.C., farm that has been in
her family since 1791, specifically in the house that her World War II veteran grandfather built
on the property several decades ago.

Motherhood, Easterling says, “is definitely the biggest inspiration for songwriting I’ve ever had,”
a statement that’s evident throughout “Common Law Wife,” which collectively offers quite a
few lyrics that celebrate the arrival of her first child, and explore the complexities, struggles and
joys of her experience.
But don’t think for a moment that becoming a mother has softened Easterling’s musical
perspective. “Common Law Wife” is also loaded with songs that tackle plenty of non-gentle
subjects ranging from murder to civil rights.
Among the album’s highlights is “Isaac Woodard’s Eyes,” which Easterling was inspired to
write after learning about the real life story of an African-American World War II veteran who
was savagely beaten and blinded by police officers in South Carolina just hours after being
honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in 1946.
“Civil rights history is something that’s always touched my heart and hit home for me,”
Easterling says. “That story, which happened in my home state, is something that seems
unimaginable, yet I believe it’s still relevant in our modern life.”
And then there’s the leadoff track, “Hammer,” the writing of which was completed on the day
that folk music icon Pete Seeger died and was inspired by the work ethic of both him and
Easterling’s aforementioned grandfather, Harold Hammett.
“It’s really hard to sit around and binge-watch Netflix when you’re living in a house that Harold
Hammett built!” Easterling says. “Whenever I’m here, I feel like I need to get up and do
something, to get to work.”
“And I found Pete Seeger, who was someone I looked up to as a hero, to have a similar spirit to
my grandfather in that he was always out there working for the things he believed in.”
“Common Law Wife” also features Easterling singing a duet with Will Kimbrough, who
produced two of her previous albums. The song, “Aching Heart,” by the way, is her young son’s
favorite. Another sweet spot is “Table Rock”, a joyful celebration of life only getting better as
one gets older.

In “Throwing Strikes,” Easterling, a diehard Boston Red Sox fan, uses baseball imagery to help
paint a picture of the despair felt in communities where once-thriving mills have been
abandoned. The baseball concept, she says, was inspired by a lyric (“a vandal’s smile, a baseball
in his right hand”) in Jason Isbell’s song, “Relatively Easy.” She calls her own song, which has
an early Steve Earle/Bruce Springsteen vibe, a “David and Goliath story.”
“Goliath isn’t necessarily the mill but the powers-that-be that move these jobs overseas, and also
the workings of the universe that lead some people to be successful and some not to be
successful,” she says. “It’s that helpless feeling, like you’re up against a brick wall, and you’re
trying your best and not getting anywhere.”
Throughout her career, beginning with her 2007 debut album, “Earning Her Wings,” which was
chosen as “Americana Pick of the Year” by Smart Choice Music,” Easterling has embraced her
heritage in a big way as a writer and an artist.
Her second album, 2009’s “BlackTop Road,” debuted on the Americana Top 40 chart, where it
remained for seven weeks, and it was chosen as a top pick in both Oxford American and Country
Weekly. One of its songs, “The Picture,” was named the year’s “best political country song” by
the Boston Herald.

Easterling’s other albums include 2011’s “Beguiler,” which featured special guest Byron House
(Robert Plant’s Band of Joy), and 2012’s “Mon Secret,” which is notable for being sung entirely
in French with original songs by Easterling and her co-writer, Marianne Bessy.
Recognized as a top-notch songwriter in roots music circles, Easterling was selected for an
official Americana Convention Showcase and is also a three-time Kerrville New Folk Finalist
(2009, 2010, 2015), a Telluride Troubadour (2011) and a two-time Wildflower Performing
Songwriter Finalist (2012, 2015).
Easterling was invited to appear on the WSM-hosted stage at CMA Music Festival/Fan Fair,
where her entire set was broadcast live, and she has appeared on the nationally broadcast public
radio program, “Michael Feldman’s Whad’Ya Know,” the popular ETV show, “Making It
Grow,” and has been interviewed by noted NPR journalist Bob Edwards.
Over the years, Easterling has opened for or appeared on stage with the Carolina Chocolate
Drops, Sarah Jarosz, Lucinda Williams, Charlie Louvin, Elizabeth Cook, Robbie Fulks, Mary
Gauthier, Ray Price, Suzy Bogguss, Ellis Paul, Radney Foster, the Oak Ridge Boys and Lori
McKenna.

Patty Griffin

Servant of Love is the Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter’s tenth album, and her first to be released on her new self-owned imprint in conjunction with Thirty Tigers. It marks the third time she has collaborated with producer Craig Ross. In Servant of Love, Patty Griffin digs deep into folk and roots tradition with its grounding in the experience and rhythms of the everyday, but she also writes in the vein of another tradition, less often mined: the transcendentalism of writers like Emerson and Whitman. Grounding itself in the natural world and finding patterns there which speak both to human experience and to the call of the spirit, Griffin’s new album weaves an elemental spell out of the stuff of life.

The youngest of seven children, Patty Griffin grew up hearing her mother sing while doing housework and her grandmother’s family sing on the front porch at night. In addition to listening intently to the Beatles, Griffin was fascinated by the music of Bruce Springsteen and Rickie Lee Jones. Although she acquired a $50 guitar and began writing songs at the age of 16, Griffin gave little thought to a career as a musician. After living in Florida for nearly two years, she moved to Boston and married, and while her husband encouraged her to perform, she spent most of her time waitressing. However, upon her divorce in 1992, Griffin found herself on her own and began to perform in Boston-area coffeehouses. She quickly attracted attention to her well-crafted songs and gutsy vocals.

Living With Ghosts After Griffin’s over-produced demo tape reached the ears of a talent scout, she was encouraged to re-record it with just her guitar and voice. Within six months, the redone demo resulted in Griffin being offered a recording contract with A&M. The tape was later released as Griffin’s debut, Living With Ghosts, and inspired comparisons with recordings by Tori Amos and Alanis Morissette. Griffin’s second album, Flaming Red, was released in 1998. Both records showcased the poetic lyricism, bluesy alto vocals, and melodic guitar picking that defined her style and brought her admiration. Four years later, Griffin appeared with a modest acoustic effort entitled 1,000 Kisses. While touring in support of the album in 2002, Griffin documented behind-the-scenes footage for a future DVD collection. A Kiss in Time, which appeared in October 2003, included coverage of the tour, interviews, and two full-length videos. A separate disc capturing Griffin’s live stint at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium accompanied the package.
Impossible Dream Artists such as Lisa Germano, Emmylou Harris, and Buddy & Julie Miller joined Griffin for the recording of her fourth album, Impossible Dream, which appeared in April 2004. Almost three years later, Children Running Through was released. Griffin’s sixth full-length outing, the gospel-infused Downtown Church, a collection of traditional and gospel materiel, was recorded in Nashville’s Downtown Presbyterian Church, and arrived in January 2010. She wrote two selections for the album as well. That same year she appeared on Robert Plant’s Band of Joy recording and tour. Griffin’s next album of new original studio material, American Kid, appeared in early May of 2013; the album debuted at 36 on the Billboard Top 2000. That fall, her shelved 2000 album Silver Bell — it got lost in record-label mergers of the time — saw its long overdue release.