wed 13/12/2017

CD: Nanci Griffith - Intersection | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Nanci Griffith - Intersection

CD: Nanci Griffith - Intersection

A mournful set of post-romantic songs finds the Lone Star singer-songwriter on intoxicating form

Hell no (she's not alright): Nanci Griffith

Nanci Griffith, the Lone Star State’s dirty realist, has done much of her better work with a Democrat in the White House. I remember interviewing her once soon after the first Gulf War, when she was glum about the prospect of George Bush Snr walking the next election. She turned out to be wrong about that, and the Clinton years confirmed her as the pre-eminent godmother of rootsy, narrative singer-songwriting. Then the next Bush, far from firing up her busy liberal wrath, ushered in an emotional downturn.

This intoxicating set of songs finds her defiantly in recovery mode, never louder or clearer than in “Hell No (I’m Not Alright)”, a short sharp roustabout of a song (co-written with Maura Kennedy) from the throaty end of her vocal register which flicks a single finger at a departing partner (and, in the video below, at the great and mighty who have left the world economy in ruins). "Nothing's gonna change/No end in sight," she growls: Griffith has never sounded angrier.

At the more mournful end of the spectrum, the title song “Intersection” reflects with brief, quiet desperation on the end of a love affair – “I’ve had a hard life, and I write it down.” Nearing 60, Griffith can still pen a lovely introspective melody, though “Bethleham Steel” maybe sounds like a familiar old tune coming round the corner again. “Just Another Morning Here” definitely has been round the block, being the latest old friend from her rich back catalogue which Griffith habitually revisits in the recording studio, its optimism now tinged with darker notes of hard-won wisdom.

Where a younger Griffith would have flooded a new album with her own compositions, since her two folk anthologies in the 1990s she has often shown a keen respect for country’s dead auteurs. Here there’s a sisterly nod to Loretta Lynn’s bluegrass chugger “High on a Mountain Top”, but also to a couple of gruff old troubadours: Ron Davies’s slow-rolling “Waiting on a Dark Eyed Gal" and Blaze Foley’s “If I Could Only Fly”, a pensive pre-echo of Griffith’s cheery title song on Flyer (1994). If you liked Nanci in her heyday, her 20th studio album will grow on you in no time.

Watch "Hell No (I'm Not Alright)"

Comments

Nancy was i dreamin this or did you invite me to sing in a show ? If so it would be an absolute pleasure a great stepping stone for my carear as a musician .Iwould be ever so grateful if you could resond so if it was true and wasn't dreamin i can prepare myself !!!!

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