[Poor David’s Almanack] came out of 20 years of thinking about folk music and the roots of things, and seeing that so much beauty comes out of the fluidity of writing from things that move you. Sometimes I listen to songs that I love and I think, ‘Wow, it’s like we’re all standing on the shoulders of giants.’ Whether knowingly or unknowingly, everyone is taking something and adding 30 percent of themselves to it and keeping the stone rolling in the river, getting smoother and smoother and more perfect. That’s really all any of us can do or hope to do.
From my interview with David Rawlings published in the December 2017 issue of Acoustic Guitar. Prompted by the release of his solo album Poor David’s Almanack, the story focused on his traditional yet wildly original approach to the guitar. He generously made a series of short videos demonstrating songs and solos I asked him about, including this clip below: the solo from “Red Clay Halo,” from the 2001 Gillian Welch album Time (the Revelator). For the full article with videos and transcriptions, see the Acoustic Guitar site.