November 6, 2007

Musical Monday

I wasn't a country music fan until Rod and I started dating almost 20 years ago. He introduced me to the music of Rodney Crowell, Rosanne Cash, Dan Seals, Randy Travis, Dwight Yoakam, Lyle Lovett, K.D. Oslin, Susie Bogguss, Tanya Tucker, Trisha Yearwood and Kathy Mattea. (Of course, I was already familiar with Kris Kristofferson's music.)

I'm not sure how I missed Nanci Griffith's extensive collection. I'm fairly certain I've heard her music here and there over the years, but until our recent trip to Oregon, I've never been compelled to buy one of her cds. While we were wandering about the Canyon Way Bookstore, I heard Speed of the Sound of Loneliness from Other Voices/Other Rooms and stopped dead in my tracks, listening to the entire song, feeling a strange sense of deja vu, wondering if I'd heard it somewhere else. The harmony vocalist sounded very familiar, too (John Prine!). I knew this was a special album and decided to buy it for my mom. (We not only share similar tastes in books, but music as well.). I thought she'd enjoy it since it has a nice folk/bluegrass sound.

I gave her the cd that afternoon and we listened straight through two times. What a marvelous album! What a beautiful voice. What lovely harmonies (Emmylou Harris and Arlo Guthrie, to name a couple more). What luck to have heard it in that bookstore since it's not a new release. It's been out since 1993!

Click on the album title above and take a listen to some of the tracks. My favorites are Speed of the Sound of Lonelinesss, This Old Town, Comin' Down in the Rain, Ten Degrees and Getting Colder, and Turn Around (which makes me -- and my mom -- cry). Actually, there's not a single track that I don't like!

From Amazon:

During the '80s, Texas singer-songwriter Nanci Griffith graduated from modest folk celebrity to find herself signed to a major label and making thoughtful, better-heeled studio albums that were critical favorites but commercial anomalies in the country market where she was initially positioned. This 1993 project finds her returning to her roots, reunited with the producer behind his earlier folk triumphs, Jim Rooney. Taking its title from Truman Capote's first novel, Other Voices, Other Rooms is a gentle but whip-smart anthology of excellent songs from acknowledged masters (Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton, John Prine, Townes Van Zandt, Woody Guthrie, the Carter Family, the Weavers, Gordon Lightfoot) and lesser-known but hardly less-skilled writers including Kate Wolf, Frank Christian, and Vince Bell. Griffith's clear-eyed vocals and unswerving intelligence are well served by members of her own band, augmented by vocal cameos from a roomful of fellow folk veterans including Prine, Arlo Guthrie, the Indigo Girls, and John Gorka, among others. --Sam Sutherland

Any Nanci Griffith fans out there? What's your favorite album?


  1. Not a real fan, but just Sunday morning I heard a wonderful, wonderful version of I Still Miss Someone by Rodney Crowell and her, which I bought at iTunes. Oh, my it is lovely. I'll look into more by her.

  2. This is one of my favorite CDs by Nanci Griffith and I own most of hers. I just LOVE her and have seen her several times in concert. She is a real gem. Don't miss the chance to see her live. BTW, have I thanked you again for turning me on to Over the Rhine? I can't get enough of them!!!

  3. I LOVE NANCI GRIFFITH!!! Although, admittedly, I've never bought one of her albums. "Speed of the Sound of Loneliness" was one of those songs that I heard when I was quite young, and it stuck with me as one of those really haunting songs that I always wanted to find again. I had no idea at the time who wrote it or sang it. I finally remembered enough lyrics to Google it when I got older and I've downloaded quite a bit of her stuff since.

    I'm also a big fan of songs she's written for other people. Namely, THE DIXIE CHICKS!!! You already know about my obsession with them, and they've done some real goodies that Griffith wrote.

    And I wonder how much influence for the album came from the Capote novel of the same name?? Hmmm, we'll be reading it for the Year of Reading Dangerously, so I'll be looking for links and connections. :)

  4. I just bought this album and expect to enjoy it tremendously. I've always loved most of these artists you mention; my favorites being Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell. Have you heard Patti Griffiths and Patty Loveless? They are both very good.

  5. Nan - I listened to that song and have to agree. It's quite lovely. Thanks!

    Maudeen - I'll bet she's wonderful in concert. You're lucky that you've been to so many!

    You're more than welcome about the Over the Rhine recommendation. I can't get enough of them either!

    Andi - If you only buy one of her albums, this is well worth every cent. There isn't a single track that I don't like.

    I had no idea she'd written a bunch of songs for The Dixie Chicks. No wonder I like her. Or them.

    Katya - Oh, yes. I've heard of both Patty Loveless and Patty Griffin. Great voices.

  6. I can't believe I wrote Patti Griffiths instead of Patti Griffin! Dumb.

  7. Katya - I knew what you meant. :)


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