Old-time fiddler Rayna Gellert has a new record coming out today that marks a beautiful new direction for her. Over the years, old-time American music has grown many roots and branches: southern fiddling, country blues, bluegrass, gospel… the list goes on. And then there are the mellow modernists who invoke a sense of mountain melancholy while making the listener feel glad to be alive: artists like Gillian and Rawlings, Pharis and Jason, and the Honey Dewdrops. Rayna Gellert’s new record “Old Light: Songs from my Childhood & Other Gone Worlds” falls into this latter category. Let’s call it Sunday-morning music for us non-churchgoers.
You’ll find nary a fiddle tune on Old Light. Instead, Rayna shares a cohesive collection of lush and languid ballads both old and new. She is joined by a stable of stellar artsts that includes her father Dan Gellert, Alice Gerrard, Scott Miller, Abigail Washburn, Nathan Salsburg, and Kai Welch, among others. The result is dark and deep, like a high mountain swimming hole: inviting and yet chilling. Enjoy.