Monday, February 15, 2010

Downtown Church, Patty Griffin

There was a phase in my life, during the mid to late 90's, when I was in love with folk music. Few artists have survived my change from folk to indie rock. The one remainder, the strongest, is Patty Griffin.

There are songs Patty Griffin has written which will bring me close to tears no matter how many times I listen: 'Mary,' 'Mother of God,' 'Night,' and 'Nobody's Crying.' It has been a few years since she has written a song that I really felt connected to. And, in her new album, it is even harder to connect. Downtown Church is a gospel album sung by an artist removed from religion.

The usual players are at work: Emmylou Harris, Julie Miller, and Buddy Miller. The music is still stellar. Her voice, bliss. The lyrics are too far away. There is very little I can relate to or want to seek relation with. But, there is one saving grace... 'Coming Home to Me.' When I saw this performed live I was brought to tears. With this being only one of the two songs she wrote, I feel as if the old Patty is still alive. Buried under the remains of an abandoned church.


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