Tag: Gillian Welch

The Elvis Presley Blues

Friday, 9 August, 2019

It’s August, so our thoughts turn to Graceland, where Elvis Presley died 42 years ago this month. Songs such as Mystery Train and Hurt depict a range of emotions, from the elation of his early days to the pain of his final days when, deranged by pharmacopeia, he sought for answers where there are none. But, as Dave Marsh wrote in Elvis, the King stood for much, much more. He was the map, not the territory.

“Somewhere, out of all this, Elvis began to seem like a man who had reached some conclusions. And so he was made into a god and a king. He was neither — he was something more American and, I think, something more heroic. Elvis Presley was an explorer of vast new landscapes of dream and illusion. He was a man who refused to be told that the best of his dreams would not come true, who refused to be defined by anyone else’s conceptions.

This is the goal of democracy, the journey on which every prospective American hero sets out. That Elvis made so much of the journey on his own is reason enough to remember him with the honor and love we reserve for the bravest among us. Such men are the only maps we can trust.”


Anais Mitchell

Saturday, 24 March, 2012

From her new album, Young Man in America, the very talented and very wry Anais Mitchell displays her poignant side as she combines whispers of Joanna Newsom and Gillian Welch in Coming Down.