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Gillian Welch

Country's Gillian Welch At College Street

Country's Gillian Welch At College Street

Gillian Welch is one of those singers and songwriters who's soaked up American music — folk, country, old time, and more — so thoroughly over the last 20 years or so that she, and her longtime musical companion David Rawlings, now seem to breathe it out. Welch has written some songs that have that timeless quality of the best folk music. Listen to "Look at Miss Ohio" or "Wrecking Ball" (no, not the Miley Cyrus song) or "Elvis Presley Blues." Those songs are durable, simple and plain, sad and slow, but deep and mysterious, too.

Welch and Rawlings have an almost spooky thing when they sing together. Their harmonies are tight, but it's more than just the...