When longtime Americana statesman David Rawlings took to the studio to release 2009's A Friend of a Friend, it actually marked his solo debut. Well known for his role as the musical partner to minimalist country star Gillian Welch, Rawlings has also worked with the likes of Bright Eyes and Ryan Adams, helping them write some of their best songs.
Rawlings puts his own voice to his songwriting on Friend of a Friend. The showcase for Rawlings' songwriting includes a handful of numbers made famous by other artists, such as "To Be Young" (Ryan Adams) and "I Hear Them All" (Old Crow Medicine Show). Departing from the sparse arrangements he creates with Welch, Rawlings surrounds his voice with a rich cloud of clanging acoustic instruments, as well as contributions from a bevy of guest-starring Americana royalty: Welch, members of Old Crow Medicine Show and Punch Brothers. Hear the band's rousing set on World Cafe.