In House #1831: Patty Griffin in Boise Tonight; New Grant-Lee Phillips
In many ways, Children Running Through, the fifth and latest full-length from Patty Griffin, is an album that finally gets her completely right. It's certainly her most accomplished and confident sounding release, serving as a statement of absolute arrival just over a decade since her debut appeared. Not to discount her past work or suggest that it hasn't won her a dedicated following along the way, but there's something different, something more going on this time out. Immediately noticeable is the classic R&B vibe, as in Aretha Franklin and Sam Cooke, that appears over the course of the album. "Stay On the Ride," is a horn-fortified slice of soul that sounds born of Washington, D.C. street marches, while "Heavenly Day," a song borrowed to R&B great Solomon Burke for last year's Nashville, sounds like a companion piece to Sam Cooke's endlessly moving "A Change Is Gonna Come." Elsewhere Griffin brings a gospel flair to "Up to the Mountain (MLK Song)," a gorgeous number based in part on Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. It's here that Griffin might be said to achieve a level that is spiritual, but not religious-- a line similar to the one that she walks in the rollicking "No Bad News," a song that clearly addresses a political situation without becoming polarizing. Another highlight finds Griffin joined by Emmylou Harris as she mines her Americana roots (also done on "I'm Getting Ready," but at a much faster speed) on "Trapeze," which sounds as good as one might expect given the duo joining forces. It all adds up to what can really only be summed up as a moment that is "career-defining" for Griffin, who clearly deserves to be mentioned in the same circles as contemporaries like Lucinda Williams, among others. In the latest in an impressive string of artists to grace its stage so far this year, Patty Griffin plays the Egyptian Theatre in Boise tonight.
In House #1831.
Focus: Patty Griffin in Boise tonight, plus new music from Arthur Dodge, Grant-Lee Phillips, Cowboy Junkies, and more.
BONUS MP3s from today's show-
Patty Griffin, from Children Running Through:
Grant-Lee Phillips, from Strangelet (due 3/27):
In House PODCAST #279