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Nanci Griffith


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

"Folkabilly" is her term for her blend of contemporary folk and country

Status:

Most recent release, Intersection (2012)

See also:

Official Nanci Griffith's site

Wikipedia's entry for Nanci Griffith

Comparisons:

Has received comparisons to Kate Campbell, Kate Wolf, Iris DeMent, Cheryl Wheeler, Joan Baez, and Tish Hinojosa

Covers/own material:

Own, co-written, and covers

General comments:

It has always amazed me when someone can take simple, straightforward chords and guitar notes, and yet come up with songs that are original and hooky enough to be fresh and new. Nanci Griffith is great at this, as she bridges the country/folk frontier. (mjmjminla@yahoo.com)

One of my all-time favorite artists, I consider her the goddess of folk music, an icon, a legend. When names like Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Bill Monroe, and Jimmie Rodgers roll off one's tongue, Nanci Griffith's name will also spill from such tongues. Listen to "Clock Without Hands" and you'll agree. (jsutton@hrmusic.com)

Comments about live performance:

I was at the Nanci Griffith/Sara Hickman show (not in that order) which was not as good as the last time I saw Nanci (which was sublime) because she had too much bass and drums and electric guitar smothering her wonderfulness and keyboardist, which really quite sucked. (2/16/95, mjmjminla@yahoo.com)

I just came back from seeing Nanci Griffith and Sarah Hickman earlier. The show was pretty fun, but once again I have to wonder about myself. Almost everyone there gave Nanci an enthusiastic standing ovation, but I wasn't that knocked out by the show. I heard lots of "best show of the year" comments (which I know isn't true, because that was Sarah McLachlan's show, so far). Not like the show was bad, it just didn't generate that much excitement for me.
     As an encore, she came out and talked about admiring MLK and Lyndon Johnson's idea of a great society, and how spreading racism is an insidious form of child abuse, and dedicated her final song, and a few moments of silence, to the children in Oklahoma City. The song was "It's a Hard Life Wherever You Go", and it had a deep pounding bass drum playing behind it. The version was raw and gritty and heartfelt, more powerful than anything she'd done the whole evening. It was a stunning moment, and I was all too happy to join the standing ovation then, as Nanci stood there with tears in her eyes. That one song vaulted the concert from being a decent evening to being an excellent one. (4/20/95, neal)

Recordings:

  • There's a Light Beyond These Woods (1978)
  • Poet in My Window (1982)
  • Once in a Very Blue Moon (1984)
  • The Last of the True Believers (1986)
  • Best Rounders (1987)
  • Lone Star State of Mind (1987)
  • Little Love Affairs (1988)
  • One Fair Summer Evening (1988)
  • Storms (1989)
  • Late Night Grande Hotel (1991)
  • Other Voices, Other Rooms (1993)
  • The MCA Years: A Retrospective (1993)
  • The Best of Nanci Griffith (1993)
  • Flyer (1994)
  • Country Gold (1997)
  • Blue Roses from the Moons (1997)
  • Other Voices, Too: A Trip Back To Bountiful (1998)
  • The Dust Bowl Symphony (1999)
  • Wings to Fly and a Place to Be: An Introduction to Nanci Griffith (2000)
  • 20th Century Masters—The Millennium Collection: The Best of Nanci Griffith (2001)
  • Clock Without Hands (2001)
  • From a Distance: The Very Best of Nanci Griffith (2002)
  • Winter Marquee (live, 2002)
  • Complete MCA Studio Recordings (2003)
  • Hearts in Mind (2004)
  • Ruby's Torch (2006)
  • The Loving Kind (2009)
  • Intersection (2012)

Other Voices, Other Rooms

Release info:

1993—Elektra

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Nanci Griffith—vocals, vocal harmony, acoustic guitar, string arrangements

Guest artists:

Chet Atkins—guitar, acoustic guitar, classical guitar
Fran Breen—drums, percussion
John Catchings—cello
Frank Christian—acoustic guitar
Guy Clark—acoustic guitar, vocals
Pete Cummins—gut-string guitar, vocal harmony
Iris DeMent—gut-string guitar, vocal harmony, vocals
Philip Donnelly—acoustic guitar, electric guitar
Stuart Duncan—mandolin, violin
Bob Dylan—harmonica
Don Edwards—yodeling
Béla Fleck—banjo
Pat Flynn—guitar, acoustic guitar
John Gorka, Marlin Griffith, David Mallett, Odetta, Jim Rooney, Amy Ray (Indigo Girls), Pamela Rose, Emily Saliers (Indigo Girls), Barry & Holly Tashian—vocals
Arlo Guthrie—duet vocals, gut-string guitar, vocal harmony
Emmylou Harris—gut-string guitar, vocal harmony
John Hartford—banjo, vocals
Carolyn Hester—gut-string guitar, vocal harmony
James Hooker—keyboards, organ, piano, vocal harmony, vocals
Roy M. "Junior" Husky—upright bass
Mary Ann Kennedy—percussion, vocals
Pete Kennedy—guitar, acoustic guitar
Leo Kottke—12-string guitar
Alison Krauss—violin
Pat McInerney—percussion
Edgar Meyer—bass
John Prine—vocal harmony, vocals
Lee Satterfield—acoustic guitar, vocal harmony
Andrea Zonn—viola

Produced by:

Jim Rooney

Comments:

This album flew to the top as my favorite Nanci Griffith album. (neal)

Flyer

Release info:

1994—Elektra

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Nanci Griffith—guitar, vocals, backing vocals

Guest artists:

Al Anderson—acoustic guitar, electric guitar
David Angell—strings, violin
Eddie Bayers—drums
Derek Bell (The Chieftains)—harp
Fran Breen—cymbals, drums
Byrd Burton—guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar
Andy Carlson—violin
John Catchings—cello, strings
Frank Christian—guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar
Adam Clayton—bass pedals, bassbass
Sonny Curtis—guitar, electric guitar, rhythm guitar, vocals, backing vocals
David Davidson—strings, violin
Ron de la Vega—cello
Bill Dillon—guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin
Adam Duritz—duet vocals, gut-string guitar, vocal harmony
Martin Fay (The Chieftains)—fiddle
Emmylou Harris, Jennifer Kimball, Pamela Rose, Lee Satterfield, Barry & Holly Tashian, Kathi Whitley—choir, chorus
John Hedgecoth—jug
James Hooker—harmonium, harpsichord, keyboards, Hammond organ, piano, vocal harmony
John Keane—electric guitar, steel guitar, gut-string guitar, vocal harmony
Sean Keane (The Chieftains)—fiddle
Mary Ann Kennedy—choir, chorus, percussion, backing vocals
Mark Knopfler—electric guitar
Tony Levin—bass, Chapman stick, didjeridu, bass
Sam Llanas—gut-string guitar, vocal harmony
Matt Malloy (The Chieftains)—flute
David Mansfield—dobro, electric guitar, mandocello, mandolin, violin
Jerry Marotta—drums, percussion
Pat McInerney—cymbals, drums, percussion, tom-tom
Pat McLaughlin—mandola, vocals, backing vocals
Paddy Moloney (The Chieftains)—penny whistle
Larry Mullen, Jr.—congos, cowbell, drums, paiste cymbals, percussion, stick
Kurt Neumann—gut-string guitar, vocal harmony
John Painter—accordion, flugelhorn, bass, electric guitar, horn arrangements, slide guitar, string arrangements, strings
Eberhard Ramm—French horn
Mickey Raphael—bass harmonica, harmonica
Amy Ray (Indigo Girls)—vocals, backing vocals
Michael Rhodes—bass, bass, strings
Emily Saliers (Indigo Girls)—vocals, backing vocals
Dave Schools—6-string bass, bass, strings
Tim White—Hammond organ
Kristin Wilkinson—strings, viola

Produced by:

Peter Collins, Peter Buck (REM)

Comments:

Listening to the new Nanci Griffith CD, Flyer... I don't know how she does it, but I love this woman totally and completely. Whatever she does is bliss. Even the simplest, silliest country ditty—it's simply great. So tasteful. So beautiful. Best example is "Going Back to Georgia." It's got this sly little guitar hook that's hardly even a riff, but it is perfect for this song. (mjmjminla@yahoo.com)

Blue Roses from the Moons

Release info:

1997—Elektra

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Nanci Griffith—vocals, acoustic guitar, rhythm guitar

Guest artists:

David Angell—violin
Fran Breen—drums
John Catchings—cello
Sonny Curtis—duet vocals, acoustic guitar, resonator, vocal arrangement, vocal harmony, vocals
David Davidson—violin
Ron de la Vega—bass, electric bass, cello, fretless bass, tic tac, vocal harmony
Philip Donnelly—electric guitar, slide guitar, vocal harmony
Le Ann Etheridge—vocal harmony
James Hooker—organ, Hammond organ, piano, synthesizer, vocal harmony
Doug Lancio—guitar, 12-string guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, hi-string guitar, resonator, slide guitar, vocal harmony
Joe Mauldin—bass, upright bass
Pat McInerney—drums, percussion, train whistle, vocal harmony
Darius Rucker—duet vocals, vocals
Lee Satterfield—vocal harmony
Kristin Wilkinson—viola
Jim Williamson—flugelhorn

Produced by:

Don Gehman

Comments:

I think most people familiar with Nanci Griffith will agree, she is truly a legend and her latest effort Blue Roses From The Moons is just another example of her creative powers. The funniest thing is when I first heard "Battleground" on the radio, I didn't recognize Nanci's voice (I think she has one of the most unique voices in music). Afterwards, I was surprised that it was Nanci, later, I could not imagine how I didn't recognize her voice. Maybe the fact that it was a Nick Lowe song threw me. I feel Nanci is one of the greatest songwriters around, she has another rather uncommon talent of getting into another songwriter's psyche through her interpretation of their work. (jsutton@hrmusic.com)

Clock Without Hands

Release info:

2001—Elektra

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Nanci Griffith—vocals, acoustic guitar

Guest artists:

David Angel—violin
Monisa Angell—viola
John Catchings—cello
David Davidson—violin
Le Ann Etheridge—backing vocals
Clive Gregson—electric guitar
James Hooker—keyboards
Ronn Huff—conductor
Michael "Mike Dee" Johnson—classical guitar, vocals
Maura Kennedy—backing vocals
Pete Kennedy—12-string electric guitar, baritone guitar, mando-guitar
Jennifer Kimball—backing vocals
Doug Lancio—electric guitar
Pat McInerney—drums, percussion
John Mock—arrangements, conducting
Lee Satterfield—classical guitar, backing vocals
John Stewart—acoustic guitar, backing vocals
The String Machine—strings
Chas Williams—dobro, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, slide dobro, slide guitar
Jim Williamson—flugelhorn, baritone sax, trumpet

Produced by:

Peter Collins, Nanci Griffith

Comments:

One of my all time favorite artists, I consider her the goddess of folk music, an icon, a legend. When names like Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Bill Monroe, and Jimmie Rodgers rolls off one's tongue, Nanci Griffith's name will also spill from such tongues. Listen to Clock Without Hands and you'll agree. (jsutton@hrmusic.com)

Further info:

Nanci Griffith has five live video releases: One Fair Summer Evening-Plus! (DVD); Winter Marquee (DVD); Other Voices, Too (VHS); Other Voices, Other Rooms (VHS); and One Fair Summer Evening—Live (VHS). Her recordings appear on many compilations (a full list can be found in the discography section of her website).


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2016-07-21 12:10:13.
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