Gillian Welch wanders through a cemetery, and as musical partner Dave Rawlings provides low-key guitar accompaniment, she sings the rather incongruous lines, "Some girls are bright as the morning / And some girls are blessed with a dark turn of mind" in the spectacularly haunting black-and-white video for "Dark Turn of Mind," a track from Welch's 2011 Grammy-nominated LP, The Harrow & the Harvest. There may be bones floating in the nearby river and a breeze rustling the pines, but Welch finds comfort and a sense of hope in the dark of night. (Watch the premiere above.)
"Dark Turn of Mind" serves as something of a metaphor for the release of The Harrow & the Harvest, as it had been eight years since the previous LP, 2003's electrified Soul Journey. Following a creative dry spell for Welch and Rawlings, the album emerged and signaled a return to form, as it revisited the Appalachian traditions of the couple's earlier records. Six years after the album became Welch's first Americana/Folk chart Number One, The Harrow & the Harvest will be released on 150-gram vinyl July 28th via the artist's Acony Records. And – audio geek alert – the album was mastered directly from the original tapes through custom Ortofon amplifiers to a Neumann VMS-80 cutting system and plated and pressed on standard-weight audiophile-quality vinyl at Quality Record Pressings.
"We have been working and waiting 20 years to bring you our music on phonograph record," says Welch. "It took a while, because we wanted to do it the right way, the absolute best way humanly possible, and I believe that's what we've done. No sonic stone was left unturned, no nuance let fall by the wayside. There is honestly nothing else I can imagine hoping to hear out of the original tapes. It is all there in the groove. As people whose lives were changed by the sound of music coming off turntables, we humbly invite you to include us in your record collection."
Packaged in an "old style" tip-on gatefold jacket and featuring dazzling full-color cover art by artist John Dyer Baizley, also of the heavy metal band Baroness, the LP includes a printed sleeve and full lyric insert. The LP is now available for pre-order.
Welch and Rawlings will be on tour throughout the summer, with performances of The Harrow & the Harvest in its entirety set for cities including
Here are the The Harrow & The Harvest Tour Dates:
July 30 - Charlottesville, VA @ Sprint Pavilion
July 31 - Washington, DC @ Kennedy Center
August 2 - New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre
August 4 - Charlotte, NC @ Knight Theater
August 5 - Atlanta, GA @ Atlanta Symphony Hall
August 7 - Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
Here are the Dave Rawlings Machine Tour Dates:
August 16 - Louisville, KY @ WL Lyons Brown Theatre
August 17 - St. Louis, MO @ Sheldon Concert Hall
August 18 - Kansas City, MO @ Folly Theater
August 20 - Lyons, CO @ Rocky Mountain Folks Festival
August 23 - Minneapolis, MN @ Pantages Theatre
August 24 - Madison, WI @ The Capitol Theater
August 25 - Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
August 26 - Bloomington, IN @ The Bluebird