Bruce Rits Gilbert

Song 56 - - Nancy Griffith

Nancy Griffith has been a favorite of mine for years. I think that I first saw her in Philadelphia at a show about 30 years ago with four singer-songwriters, including John Gorka, Cliff Eberhardt, and Mary Chapin Carpenter. Her sweet voice is the closest thing possible to Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris, who have the sweetest of all voices - - although Allison Krauss is in that mix, too.

In a particularly memorable performance, Nancy Griffith opened for John Prine at the Mann Center back in the 90s. John Prine, of course, is the best, and, with Nancy Griffith on the bill, it was an amazing show. Having second row seats that night didn't hurt. And then we saw her again at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, which was pretty incredible. I mean, being at the Grand Ole Opry was spectacular by itself, but getting the chance to see Nancy Griffith there was pretty amazing. 

Nancy Griffith is a great singer-songwriter. She has a healthy catalogue of great songs, many of which appear on the mixes that I make and a few of which get air time now and again on WXPN. And most all of which are thoughtful and simply pretty songs. Listen to the Radio, which she sang at the Mann concert with a thrilled kid who asked to join Nancy on stage for a Make-a-Wish request, is one of her better known songs. For good reason. Because it's a great song. And Sing One For Sister and Ford Econoline, both from her Lone Star State of Mind album, are two others that I would have worn out on the record if I still played records. 

Nancy Griffith is a year older than me. But I'm pretty sure that she looks considerably younger. Her last album was released in 2012. It includes a track called Hell No (I'm Not Alright), which tells us a little about her state of mind five years when she made this album. And this was well before our current political horror. She has nothing listed on her tour schedule. But I sure hope that she gets back out on the road and stops here in Philadelphia. I'd love to see her again. 

Although there are lots and lots of Nancy Griffith's original songs that I could have featured, I've decided to feature a cover song in today's post. Nancy does an very cool version of Bob Dylan's Boots of Spanish Leather, which is an amazing song, made even better with Nancy doing it. So here it is: Nancy Griffith doing Boots of Spanish Leather

And, as a bonus, here are The Lumineers doing their version of Boots of Spanish Leather. And by The Lumineers, I mean their frontman, Wesley Schultz.

Leave a comment:

  •