I have on excellent authority that people with cultural prominence google themselves. They’re acutely aware of what’s written about them.
So, David Rawlings, let me tell you this: I want to be your guitar.
To readers unfamiliar with Mr. Rawlings: You know that T-Bone Burnett guy at the Oscars and the Grammys? The O Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack? Call it Alt Country, Outlaw Bluegrass, Neo Americana. That’s the music Rawlings plays. He is by far one of the best guitarists playing today. He’s in excellent, talented company, not the least of which being Gillian Welch, his brilliant, sprite-like musical (and personal) partner.
Forgive me, Gillian, for this post of unrequited admiration. I think you’re amazing, too. Your set at Wanderlust was too short, but you were great. And at last month’s Jenny Lewis Haiti benefit, your presence was missed big time.
This is a Dave post, though. So, Dave:
Girls may scream at Conor Oberst’s perky rump. Don’t get me wrong: Conor’s super. I don’t need to tell you that. You’ve worked with him enough. But he’s not you. He’s a boy with expensively-cut hair. You, Dave, are a man.
M. Ward is great with a cover. But your “Cortez the Killer”? Breathtaking. To say nothing of “Queen Jane Approximately” in your beyond capable hands.
Ryan Adams is Ryan Adams. I like him. But I prefer your “To Be Young (Is to Be Sad, Is to Be High)”.
Speaking of which:
Oh one day when you’re looking back
You were young and man you were sad
When you’re young you get sad
When you’re young you get sad, then you get high
I’ve been thinking a lot lately of being young and gloomy. Squandered opportunities. Of close friends who were young, sad, and often intoxicated. How happy we were at times.
Hearing you play, Dave, in full-on action with your 1935 Epiphone Olympic, watching your fingers as you manifest all that joy and chemistry, reminds me of all the best times when I was young. And not sad. Talking all night long, ricocheting words and ideas. In a perfect groove in a time which was too short, with someone I was too young to appreciate, let alone properly love.