Bluegrass goddess Gillian Welch hasn’t put out a new record in five years, which is bad enough, but she’s been sitting on the best song she’s ever done for nearly that long. Titled “Throw Me a Rope” or “The Way It Will Be” or, per the clip above, “The Way It Would Be,” it’s a slow, devastating ballad I first heard when Gillian and longtime cohort David Rawlings opened all those Bright Eyes shows in May 2007. We have waited goddamn long enough for a recorded version. (To give you an idea of the crazed esteem in which this song is held, here’s a blog post wherein some dude claiming to have a good live MP3 demands that you write an essay or something about how much you love Gillian before he’ll give it to you.) This is Americana’s very own Chinese Democracy, except this will actually be good. Get the lead out, Welch. And happy Thanksgiving.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 26, 2008