Gillian Welch
(Courtesy Gillian Welch)
Pandemic Life

UC Santa Cruz alum Gillian Welch takes home folk-music Grammy

Welch, a child of Hollywood who credits Santa Cruz for turning her toward traditional music, came away with a Grammy for Best Folk Album Sunday.

UC Santa Cruz alum Gillian Welch was among the winners of the 2021 Grammy Awards, taking home the Best Folk Album Grammy for her “All the Good Times,” the 2020 album she recorded with her long-time recording partner David Rawlings.

For years now, Welch has been one of the recording industry’s most durable folk/country artists with a neo-traditional style that evokes Appalachia and America’s rural past.

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In the late 1980s, she lived and worked in Santa Cruz as a UCSC student, having grown up in Hollywood as the child of composers who wrote music for “The Carol Burnett Show.”

Welch has credited Santa Cruz — particularly long-time Santa Cruz singer/guitarist Mike McKinley — with turning her toward folk, bluegrass, and old-timey mountain music.

She recorded her first album in 1996, and has been, with Rawlings at her side, a staple in the folk world since.

Her Grammy-winning “All the Good Times” was her first recording since 2011.

Also nominated this year was Santa Cruz native Remy LeBoeuf in two categories, Best Instrumental Arrangement and Best Instrumental Composition.