Home / News / Gillian Welch Shares Video For “Dry Town (Demo)”

Gillian Welch Shares Video For “Dry Town (Demo)”

Gillian Welch shared her video for “Dry Town (Demo)” this morning on NPR Music, who called it “playful and sweetly captivating.” You can watch it here. The video brings Welch’s song about being stuck in a town with “no beer, no liquor for miles around,” to life with stop motion animation and anthropomorphized beer bottles and shot glasses. The music video was produced by Rachel Blumberg, an artist and former drummer for The Decemberists, Bright Eyes and M Ward, who said of working on the video: “The lyrics have a great visual quality and rhythm and it made sense to interpret things in a very literal way, which I think adds to the humor of the piece.” Gillian Welch worked with close friend Blumberg to create the video, and said on the inspiration for it, “Dry Town came from a live experience I had on a road trip when I was just out of college. David and I wrote the song shortly after moving to Nashville, after a show where we opened for Johnny Cash. We were so inspired to meet Johnny and see him in the flesh that we wanted to capture some of that narrative swagger and humor in a song of our own. Since the story is front and center, it seemed like a great chance to bring the song to life with stop motion animation. I’m more of a car person than Rachel, so I found the ’71 Buick with the vinyl top, other than that she created every inch of the fantastic world you see.”

Watch the Video for “Dry Town (Demo)” on NPR Music: http://n.pr/2k3QwCC

“Dry Town (Demo)” is off Welch’s Boots No. 1: The Official Revival Bootleg which was released on November 25, 2016 on Acony Records. NPR Music initially premiered the song via Songs We Love, praising it as a “wry, Johnny Cash-like talking-blues.” Boots No. 1, which commemorates the 20th anniversary of Welch’s groundbreaking album, Revival, provides an intimate look at the earliest works of Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, “before they emerged as leading lights in an ascendant Americana scene,” and is “a tremendous reminder of how and why this partnership came to matter so much.” (NPR Music) Boots No. 1: The Official Revival Bootleg is out now on Acony Records, and is available on CD and digitally here.

Boots No. 1: The Official Revival Bootleg was personally curated and produced by Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, who worked alongside archivist Glen Chausse to mine selections from their extensive vault of analog tape recordings. The two-disc set features 8 previously unreleased songs, and includes 21 outtakes, alternate versions, and demos from the making of the album, such as the earliest home demo of “Orphan Girl” which was recorded on a four-track and the rarity “Georgia Road,” a song that was only performed live once.

Of the album, Gillian Welch says, “I’m happy that the songs hold up. That’s probably the thing I’m most proud of. There is that interesting moment in any writer’s first batch of songs or any writer’s first novel or anything, a filmmaker’s first movie that always seems to have something that is different from what comes after. Something happens in that first push. Maybe because you’re usually up against more resistance. But there is a purity or a diamond hardness to the first batch that doesn’t seem to happen again. And so Revival has that when I look at it. Maybe it’s lack of ego. You know, there really was no me. You know, the artist Gillian Welch didn’t really exist. And then after that, I did.”

On the influence Revival and Gillian Welch had on him, Seth Avett of The Avett Brothers adds, “I was 13 years old when Gillian Welch won a songwriting contest at Merlefest with the song ‘Orphan Girl.’  Shortly after, when Revival was released, I remember feeling like she and the festival were one and the same…like she and the environment around her were the past and the future of music, and unbelievably, they were right down the road from me in my home state of North Carolina.  She and Dave Rawlings contributed mightily to a whole new understanding of what and how a song could be.  The simplicity, finesse and timelessness of their work was inspiring beyond measure. The music of Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings was magic for me then and it is magic for me now.”

Gillian Welch and musical partner Dave Rawlings have recorded 7 studio albums and have lent their talents to countless fellow artists’ recordings. In recognition of their remarkable career, Welch and Rawlings were honored with the Americana Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting in 2015 and the Berklee American Masters Award last year.


Disc One 

1. Orphan Girl (Alternate Version)

2. Annabelle (Alternate Version)

3. Pass You By (Alternate Version)

4. Go On Downtown (Revival Outtake) *

5. Red Clay Halo (Revival Outtake)

6. By The Mark (Alternate Mix)

7. Paper Wings (Demo)

8. Georgia Road (Revival Outtake) *

9. Tear My Stillhouse Down (Home Demo)

10. Only One and Only (Alternate Version)

Disc Two

1.  Orphan Girl (Home Demo)
2.  I Don’t Want to Go Downtown (Revival Outtake) *
3.  455 Rocket (Revival Outtake) *
4.  Barroom Girls (Live Radio)
5.  Wichita (Revival Outtake) *
6.  One More Dollar (Alternate Version)
7.  Dry Town (Demo) *
8.  Paper Wings (Alternate Mix)
9.  Riverboat Song (Revival Outtake) *
10. Old Time Religion (Revival Outtake) *
11. Acony Bell (Demo)

*previously unreleased

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

Check Also

Easy Life Release New Single ‘Nice Guys.’ Announce North American Tour. Sign To Interscope in the U.S

Today, British band Easy Life have unveiled their brilliant new single ‘Nice Guys,’ along with the news of their …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.