Piney River Brewing Company

The Harrow and the Harvest, Gillian Welch, David Rawlings & Crafting Great Things

In The Beer on July 7, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Music and beer go hand in hand.

Since our stovetop homebrewing days tunes have been a very important part of the beer we’ve made.  We still have the TV we bought when we were married, but we’ve upgraded our stereo system more than one time.  The BARn is currently outfitted with an iPod player, but we’re already thinking about where and how to pipe the tunes all over the BARn when the time comes.  (This will involve more outdoor speakers.  The cows, the turkeys, the deer all love tunes, too.)

Several years ago I read this article in The New Yorker magazine about a singer/songwriter, Gillian Welch.  I wasn’t familiar with Welch’s music at the time, but ironically, she and her partner, David Rawlings, were musical guests on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion that same week.  It was a warm, fall evening, and I remember lying on a picnic table in the backyard, the day’s light fading around me, the music washing over me.

Today all of Gillian’s music is in my possession, and she is my favorite musical artist.  One of the best concerts we’ve ever attended was a “Dave Rawlings Machine” show at The Grenada in Lawrence, KS.   Gillian and Dave go together like music and beer.  They are a pair that plays as if they are one.  If the music or the song doesn’t resonate with them, they don’t do it.  Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings craft great American music.

Gillian Welch hasn’t released an album since 2003.  Her fans were thirsting for a new album.  Finally, on June 28th The Harrow and the Harvest was released to the world.  Welch said that a new album hadn’t been made because she wasn’t satisfied with the songs; they had to “just so” before they were to become a part of her musical history.

The eight year wait was long, but The Harrow and the Harvest was worth it.  Every song was written and is sung by Welch and Rawlings.  They provide all the music in their simply intricate forms (just listen to Rawlings’ guitar playing and you’ll understand what that means).  These songs are the kind that live and breathe with you; they were meant to be played in a brewery.  The Harrow and the Harvest is proof that there are artists committed to the craft of creating great music.

We’ve found that many craft beer lovers are also music lovers, and we would be remiss if we didn’t share this great album with you, too.  Besides, the beers conditioning in the BARn today, the beer fermenting as I write this have listened to this album.  The Harrow and the Harvest, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings have been part of helping us craft beer and if you like craft beer, there’s a chance you’ll enjoy their musical craft, too.

If you happen to be by the BARn this Saturday, July 9 between 1 and 5 p.m., I’ll even let you listen to a tune or two while you enjoy a McKinney Eddy Amber Ale, a Bronzeback Pale Ale or a Missouri Mule IPA.

Beef steak when I’m working, whiskey when I’m dry, sweet heaven when I die….


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