You've waited your eight years, child. You've been good. And now you are rewarded. Gillian Welch, who really should be known as Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, made you a present for the ages. It's called The Harrow and the Harvest, and we've heard it, and it's exactly what you wanted. It has turned Colin Meloy into its publicist, and maybe that isn't what you wanted, but some things are so important they just turn people into fucking publicists. Anyway the songs are mean and pretty and soft and slyly dirty, but you already knew that. What you don't know is that the playing, the writing, and the no-overdub, few-takes performance is the kind of spiritual experience that comes from players who, for their whole lives having considered themselves paying homage to a tradition, have now accepted that they are creating in that tradition.
Thu., July 7, 8 p.m., 2011