by Julie Wolfson
Mostly developed during a series of Rawlings Machine performances with Welch and an evolving line-up of incredible musicians in Los Angeles, the four star rating in this week's Rolling Stone announces to the world, that for this solo effort, Rawlings is more than ready to front the band.
Rawlings and Welch played so many gigs at Los Angeles's Largo at the Coronet Theatre this year jamming with Benmont Tench, Jon Brion, John Paul Jones, Emmylou Harris, Sara Watkins, Sean Watkins (and so many more) that one gets the feeling that their life is a music-filled dreamland. Largo concerts are filled with appearances by new talents and legendary masters. The Largo music love-fest has inspired live albums by Mike Viola and Glen Phillips, numerous musical partnerships, and now A Friend of a Friend.
Recorded in Nashville at the celebrated RCA Studio B, Rawlings deep knowledge of authentic country music comes through in the seven songs he wrote for the album including "Ruby" with Ryan Adams. The other tracks â€œThe Monkey and the Engineer,â€ a country blues by Jesse Fuller, who died in 1976, and a medley consisting of â€œMethod Acting,â€ by Conor Oberst, and â€œCortez the Killer,â€ by Neil Young round out the album. Rawlings 1935 Epiphone Olympic archtop guitar adds depth to his authentic sound. From the musicians on stage to the loyal audience, it always feels like family and friends have gotten together to enjoy a front porch hootenanny. In a world of high tech everything, Rawlings music is truly the perfect friend.