If you missed Dave Rawlings Machine  Saturday night at Eugene’s historic McDonald Theater, you missed a first-rate show.

You’ve never seen quite so much talent on one stage, as the tour lineup includes Rawlings, Gillian Welch, former Old Crow Medicine Show band member Willie Watson, John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin, and Paul Kowert, from the Punch Brothers.

Opening the setlist with a high-spirited “Monkey and the Engineer” from Rawlings’ 2009 ‘”Friend of a Friend” release and the traditional bluegrass “Hot Corn, Cold Corn,” the band had the rapturous audience pouring on the love from the get-go.

A superb performance of “Dry Bones,” an old folk song, came next. Eugene’s McDonald was filled to capacity and the crowd whooped, hollered and stomped — and sang along when invited — during key moments.

Other show-stoppers included Welch’s wonderfully wistful “Wayside Back in Time” and an exuberant group performance of Willie Watson’s “Keep it Clean.”

A personal favorite was “Sweet Tooth” – also from “A Friend of a Friend” – a charmer of a song that showcases Rawling’s and Welch’s delectable harmonies.

Listen to “Sweet Tooth” here.

Rawlings’ exquisite “I Hear Them All” morphed into a heartfelt “This Land is Your Land,” capturing the crowd in a collective swoon. Here’s a taste:

At the end of the two-hour show the Dave Rawlings Machine returned to the stage and performed two encores – including a beautifully engaging rendition of Zeppelin’s “Going to California,” Bob Dylan’s “Changing of the Guard” and a crowd-pleasing tribute to “The Weight” by The Band.

All-the-way-’round a class act, and a great show we won’t soon forget.

Upcoming tour dates include Grants Pass, Redding, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles.
Cynthia Orlando
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