Americana stalwarts Gillian Welch and David Rawlings were honored with the American Masters Award last night from the prestigious Berklee School of Music during a special edition of Music City Roots in Nashville.
The duo, whom met and began playing together while students at Berklee during the early 90's, were recognized by their alma matter for their contributions towards "making a positive impact on young musicians, offering them opportunities to grow as artists and leaders."
Given the fact that the duo basically re-arranged the template of American roots music with their hauntingly Gothic re-interpretations of ancient folk motifs and precision-like harmonies and guitar work, this description may be something of an understatement.
Honored alongside Welch and Rawlings was legendary producer T-Bone Burnett, who oversaw the sessions for Welch's seminal 1996 album Revival, as well as the soundtrack for the 2000 Coen Brothers film O Brother, Where Art Thou?, an album which basically made the fledgling "Americana" movement acceptable for mass consumption.
Welch and Rawlings, who have produced five critically-acclaimed albums under the moniker "Gillian Welch" and a pair under the name "The Dave Rawlings Machine", live together in East Nashville. Though they do not publicly discuss their personal relationship. Their music does all the talking.