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NEW ALBUM: Patty Griffin - Patty Griffin
PATTY GRIFFIN ~ Patty Griffin

[Image: image.jpg?c=Bu8VixKOVUrJQRLO8jgOKhyhM-OF...XXB1I=&f=5]

I wasn’t sure about this album to begin with, but the acoustic guitarwork is just gorgeous and that grabbed hold and kept me captive for the duration. Folk with occasional alternative leanings, a bit of country, a touch of the blues and a few jazzy interludes.

Patty Griffin is yet another artist with whom I am not familiar and I needed to get to grips with her voice and her style, which initially has a bit of a light feel but which when you go deeper delivers oh so much more. As I found, to my delight, this is a clean, crisp sounding release; a quality recording IMHO, unless it’s considered over-produced (which term I’m not really sure I understand too well! Cleaned up beyond recognition is what I would imagine it means and I don’t think this is that, but who knows – could be wrong).

In the grand scheme of things and comparatively speaking, Ms Griffin is fairly new to the biz although she’s been playing guitar since the age of sixteen; it’s herself playing acoustic here, and the piano is hers too. She’s toured with some big names, including Emmylou Harris and Robert Plant with whom she was involved for some years and who despite their personal parting of the ways, receives credit for vocals on this album. I can hear something of the Plant influence here methinks – there are one or two Sensational Space Shifter inspired moments, for sure.

I got into the swing of things from the fourth track “Hourglass”, which is less country/folk oriented and more a jazz influenced retro romp that really suits her voice. She also does justice to the alternative, darker sounding stuff. This is a package comprising good lyrics, good song structure, great sounds and a large helping of maturity. I think it’s both an enjoyable and accomplished offering, and heavily coloured by life experience. Not least, she lets us see and experience her vulnerability, which (according to my theory) allows the listener access to another realm and which is a quality so endearing in a brave artist.  

The cover artwork speaks volumes, as does the title of the album – this is her, in a nutshell – a phoenix rising, going with the flowing river, occasional clouds across the sun, bright stars and the moon in shadow, faithful companions, peaks and valleys, fruitfulness, new growth, and so it goes …. I think I need to get this …

"The Wheel" (with that Sensational Space Shifters vibe I was talking about … ) -

“Hourglass” -

“What I Remember” – (this puts me so much in mind of Colin Blunstone’s “Though You Are Far Away” – couldn’t dredge it up out of my memory to begin with, but eventually the association surfaced! It’s the quiet and the simplicity of it, I think - -

I quite like the dark, persistent cello on this one – “Bluebeard” -

The almost prayer or cantorlike “What Now” – shades of Marianne Faithfull -

“Coins” with Mr P, I imagine -

"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson
Another acoustic beauty ! Thanks Ruby !
 The ultimate connection is between a performer and its' audience!

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