"A Friend Of A Friend" is the first record by Dave Rawlings, the guitarist, producer, singer, and songwriter best known for his work with Gillian Welch and Old Crow Medicine Show. These long time compatriots join Rawlings on this record, beside newer friends Benmont Tench from the Heartbreakers, Karl Himmel, and Nate Walcott of Bright Eyes. The notion of recording as Dave Rawlings Machine began in 2007. Of the nine songs on the playlist, Rawlings wrote seven. The other two are “The Monkey and the Engineer,” a country blues by Jesse Fuller, who died in 1976, and a medley consisting of “Method Acting,” by Conor Oberst, and “Cortez the Killer,” by Neil Young.
Rawlings’s sly and succinct guitar playing is embedded within ensemble play as opposed to carrying the bulk of the arrangement. The songs are exuberant, sturdy, and carefully constructed, but they also reverberate poetically. The music on "A Friend Of A Friend" is cousin to the deftly modern and haunting music that Welch and Rawlings are known for, but it has here been expanded; the crowd is larger, the party more robust, but the room is the same room.Hemifran