Monday, June 18, 2007

voices to hear #4

Written by John from Altjiranga Mitjina

This week’s voice to hear has been recording since the mid nineties. She’s had a fair share of acceptance, her most recent album debuted at #34 on the charts, but she still is far from a household name. She’s Patty Griffin, currently living in Austin Texas and one of the most accomplished singer/songwriters currently working.

Her newest album Children Running Through was released in February of this year and a lot of magazine critics were already calling it the best album of the year, only two months in the year, but they felt it was such a strong album. Patty has always been a great singer, but on her new album her voice goes places she’s never visited before to bring the emotion for these songs. The album is more a stripped down affair, with some horns and strings, that bring to mind classic R&B and gospel music.

One of the songs from her new album “Up To The Mountain” was sung by Kelly
Clarkson on the special edition of American Idol with guitar accompaniment by Jeff
Beck. Patty’s songs have been widely covered by other artists. The Dixie Chicks have sung three of her songs on their albums. Other artists that have covered her material are Martina McBride, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Emmylou Harris, Solomon Burke and Bette Midler.

Patty was living in Boston waiting tables and taking guitar lessons when her teacher persuaded her to accompany him on stage one night. This helped her overcome the stage fright she had and enabled her to start performing in public. She soon landed a spot at A&M Records and her first album Living With Ghosts. The album was basically her stripped down demos released after trying to cut more elaborate studio versions failed. Her next album Flaming Red brought more sound to her songs and was somewhat of a surprise to her fans after hearing the more low key first album.

Her next album became a casualty of the ever changing world of the music business. The album was recorded in 2000 and was never released. Two years later she signed with Dave Matthews’ label and released the folk inspired mostly acoustic album 1000 Kisses. This was followed shortly by a live CD/DVD A Kiss In Time.

2004 she came out with a new album entitled Impossible Dream. “Top of the World” from this album was covered by the Dixie Chicks and the song “Kite” was used in the television show Joan of Arcadia in one of the best uses of a song for a show I think.

Her current album came out at the start of this year and is considered to be her best music to date. Her singing has never been better and the album finds her mixing gospel and R&B influences with her folk leanings. While I think it is too early in the year to call it the best album of the year like some critics have already done so I will safely concede that it will be one of the top albums of the year. It’s that good.


Surviving Motherhood said...

I'm not very clever about these technological thingumys but could we get some sort of music player thingy on here to play a few songs from the weeks artist each week?

I'm sure we can somehow, anyone know how?

JohnH985 said...

I think I can manage that. I'll give it a try next week.

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