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Gillian Welch Biography

Home > Music > W > Welch, Gillian > Biography

Born: 1967/10/02
Birth Place: Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Genres: Bluegrass, Americana, Rock

Gillian Welch (born October 2, 1967) is an American singer-songwriter. She performs with her musical partner, guitarist David Rawlings. Their sparse and dark musical style combines elements of Appalachian music, Bluegrass and Americana.

Welch and Rawlings have released five critically acclaimed albums. The 1996 debut, “Revival,” and the 2001 release “Time (The Revelator),” received nominations for the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album. The pair’s sophomore album, 1998’s “Hell Among the Yearlings” marked their first entry on the Billboard 200 Albums chart.

Welch sang two songs and served as an associate producer for the T Bone Burnett-produced soundtrack to the 2000 film, “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” She shared vocals with Alison Krauss on a rendition of the gospel song “I'll Fly Away.” Burnett and Welch wrote additional lyrics for the song, “Didn't Leave Nobody but the Baby,” sung by Welch, Emmylou Harris and Krauss. The song is an elaboration of an old Mississippi tune discovered by Alan Lomax, and was nominated for the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals. The platinum album won the 2002 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Welch also made a cameo appearance in the film.

Welch’s 2003 album, “Soul Journey,” introduced electric guitar, drums and a more upbeat sound to her body of work. Welch's first album in eight years, “The Harrow & The Harvest,” was released in 2011. It reached #20 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Folk Albums chart.