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Blues/Country/Folk - Released March 8, 2019 | PGM

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Patty Griffin made a strong statement when she decided to give her name to her tenth album. Was it a way to make her songs even more intense? Maybe. But when one discovers that the songwriter had just won her battle with breast cancer when she wrote the album, the decision feels even stronger. In her record, Griffin compares the disease that she fought with the social and political sickness that is currently destroying America. The record is raw, and the gravity of its main themes work in favor of the magnificence of this piece of Americana. Recorded in her house in Austin, Texas, the album embraces many genres, from blues to gospel, country music, New Orleans swing, and Irish traditional songs. As always with Patty Griffin, realistic descriptions go hand in hand with pure poetry, and the artist’s intimate confessions give way to groovy tunes. For her simple and beautiful record, Griffin has called up her long-term and faithful companions. David Pulkingham is on the guitar, Conrad Choucroun on the drums, Lindsey Verrill on cello, Stephen Barber on piano and as special guest on two songs (Coins and What Now) her ex-husband and Led Zeppelin master Robert Plant. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Rock - Released February 6, 2007 | ATO RECORDS

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Rock - Released January 1, 1996 | A&M

Patty Griffin's major-label debut was actually recorded as a demo cassette. A&M executives were so impressed with this raw display of talent that they snatched up the tape and threw it, unaltered, into the marketplace. Griffin recorded her songs exactly as she performed them live, armed with only her acoustic guitar and a voice that can rattle fences. While dozens of folk artists have attempted to bend the ear of the major labels by coating their acoustics with radio-friendly keyboards and drums, Griffin took the gutsy "band? I don't need no stinking band" approach. It's primarily a testament to her voice that A&M was so taken with her minimalism; as a guitarist, Griffin isn't much more than an energetic strummer. Her songwriting is only occasionally exceptional -- her word choices are as minimal as her arrangements, and her melodies are engaging but conventional. But she is nonetheless a striking and intriguing storyteller, because her tales of chronically lonely people are told with such passion. Griffin's Nashville-tinged warble has tremendous emotional range, one minute cracking with brittle vulnerability, the next minute blasting with passionate intensity. Occasionally it seems Griffin's demo engineers were unequipped to handle her vibrant transitions, setting the microphone level for a whisper then cringing as the speakers bristle and the needles slam into the red. But this subtle idiosyncrasy only adds to the charm of the album, lending to the impression that no stereo is big enough to contain this voice. © Darryl Cater /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2010 | Credential Recordings

In many respects, art is about the process that goes into the creation of the work as much as the work itself; the path that leads to a final creative vision can often mean as much to the art as the physical technique or the initial inspiration. It's a process not unlike faith, in which the road to spiritual understanding plays a powerful role in informing one's beliefs, and both art and faith play a crucial role in Patty Griffin's seventh album, Downtown Church. While Griffin has described herself as a "lapsed Catholic," she's also spoken of herself as a seeker who believes in the spiritual dimensions of music, and she's a passionate devotee of classic gospel music, with the influences showing clearly on her 2007 album, Children Running Through. On Downtown Church, Griffin has given her gospel influences free reign; while it features two fine new songs from her, most of the album is devoted to vintage gospel of all stripes, from Hank Williams' "House of Gold" and Dorothy Love Coates' "The Strange Man" to traditional numbers such as "Wade in the Water," "If I Had My Way," and "Never Grow Old." Downtown Church was recorded in Nashville's Downtown Presbyterian Church, and while it's hard to say how much that informed the mood of the sessions, Griffin's vocals here possess a fierce passion bordered by a touching emotional fragility, as if she's fully aware of the gravity of the themes at hand, and means to give them the consideration they deserve. Griffin is also accompanied by a number of gifted friends and colleagues; Buddy Miller produced the album, and his spectral guitar lines weave their way through many of the songs, while the guest vocalists include Emmylou Harris, Raul Malo, Jim Lauderdale, and gospel stars Ann McCrary and Regina McCrary, all of whom add to the richness of this music while never leaving any question that this is truly Griffin's album. Griffin has certainly learned a lot from vital gospel artists of the past, but rather than emulate their style, she's absorbed them and used their influences to create something of her own, and along the way, one can hear her digging deep into the meanings of these songs as well as appreciating the beauty on the surface. Griffin sounds bold on "I Smell a Rat," fervent on "The Strange Man," and almost in awe of the simple faith and complex mysteries of "All Creatures of Our God and King," and just as she's not afraid to step into the musical unknown, she's sincere and assured as she considers the depth of faith expressed in these songs. It's no surprise that Downtown Church is a beautiful album, as Patty Griffin has been making beautiful albums since 1996, but here she's reaching for something deeper than she has on much her previous work, and the search that informed these 14 songs is compelling and joyous to hear, regardless of your religious convictions. © Mark Deming /TiVo
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Rock - Released April 20, 2004 | ATO RECORDS

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Pop - Released September 25, 2015 | PGM

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Rock - Released January 1, 1998 | A&M

Patty Griffin's Living with Ghosts was an impressive debut, but its spare acoustic arrangements occasionally made it sound more like a sketchbook than a completed album. Shortly after its release, her label commissioned a new version of "Let Him Fly," which matched her vocals to a full live band. Satisfied with the results, Griffin decided to flesh out the instrumentation on her second album Flaming Red and the results are revelatory. Griffin didn't stick with traditional rock arrangments -- she also recorded country-rock, folk, catchy pop and even trip-hop songs, as well. Instead of camouflaging her songwriting, it actually reveals the richness of her music and lyrics. Her sonic revision may be more accessible, but it's no compromise -- Flaming Red is evidence that Griffin is one the more talented and ambitious singer/songwriters to emerge in the late '90s. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Folk - Released October 7, 2003 | ATO Records

Patty Griffin's first live outing is a fine, poetic, flesh and blood example of what a live recording should be. This is as undressed as it gets; a fine record of a truly magical show at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nash Vegas; a fitting end to a tour that began with the hope of getting a new record on a new label across. The end result is one of those recordings where the singer becomes her songs. Her guests, including Buddy and Julie Miller, Emmylou Harris, John Deaderick, and Jay Joyce all end up as parts and parcels in the songs, rather than as personalities helping to interpret them. The world woven from Griffin's three studio recordings, combined with the energy coming from audience, and the stage itself, make for one of the most engaging, warm, and poetic listening experiences issued in a decade, and one of the best live outings on record. The package includes a DVD with videos for the songs "Rain" and "Chief," and a slice of life documentary of life on the road during a memorable year. Griffin's delivery on "Christina," is nervous, grainy, full of the heartbreak of her subject (Christina Onassis), "Rain" offers an acceptance and resignation of a soul in flux and pain which refuses to yield its desire to transcend. And on it goes, into the night with warmth abounding, and a heart opening, like Frida Kahlo's: revealing everything in the moment. in the safety of camaraderie. and the in the naked light of song itself. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Folk - Released May 7, 2013 | Patty Griffin

American Kid is Patty Griffin's first album of primarily original material since 2007's Children Running Through. It's her most stripped-down recording since her debut, Living with Ghosts. Acoustic guitars of all stripes, mandolins, earthy drums, percussion, bass, and occasional piano and organ accompany her instantly recognizable voice. Co-produced by the artist and Craig Ross, she is joined by longtime guitarist Doug Lancio, as well as Cody and Luther Dickinson. Robert Plant appears on three songs, including the single "Ohio." The set was recorded in Memphis and Brooklyn. Griffin wrote most of these songs after learning of her father's impending death. They aren't so much about his actual life, but her making sense of the coming absence of his physical presence in hers, what she knew of him and his times. These songs are mostly acoustic; one can hear traces of early blues, various American folk styles, gospel, and vintage country music in her brand of Americana. There isn't anything extra anywhere in the mix. The space in the high lonesome "Go Wherever You Wanna Go," with Luther's National Steel guitar playing slide in counterpart to Griffin's earthy vocal, is almost spooky. The combined supplication and exhortation in the haunted "Don't Let Me Die in Florida" carries traces of prewar and Memphis blues. The duet between Griffin and Plant on "Ohio," is a shimmering, open-tuned droning float, it's lyric binds spiritual and physical love; it would not have been out of place on a Band of Joy record. The feeling of home and hearth saturates her excellent reading of Lefty Frizzell's "Mom & Dad's Waltz," while the musical sensation -- if not the form -- of the folk-blues courses through the disquieting "Faithful Son," with a haunting backing vocal by Plant. "Irish Boy" evokes an early 20th century parlor song; Griffin's only accompaniment is her piano. "Get Ready Marie" is a barroom waltz, complete with a male backing chorus and made loopy by an off-kilter Hammond B-3. The set closer, "Gonna Miss You When You're Gone," is Griffin speaking directly to her father, addressing the deep mark he made upon her life, even as he's passing through it. It's part Lonnie Johnson and Lil Green swing blues, and part Peggy Lee pop. It's slow burning, tender, and bittersweet, a three a.m. confession in an empty room, sung from one spirit to another. While the theme of mortality runs deep through American Kid, so does the celebration of life. Roughshod and unpredictable songs engage it in the present as well as the past, through courage, fear, love, memory, and the grainy, knotty, often invisible ties that bind. With its immediacy, economy, cagey strength, and vulnerability, Griffin delivers these 12 songs not as gifts or statements, but as her own evidence of what is, what was, and what yet may come. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Rock - Released October 2, 2013 | A&M

Shelved during of the great record label consolidation of the early 2000s, Patty Griffin's Silver Bell is indeed a "lost album" but it is not one that carries mythic weight. Griffin rebounded relatively quickly after Silver Bell's abandoned release -- two years later, she signed with ATO and released 1000 Kisses, the first in a series of regular records all receiving greater acclaim and stronger sales -- and Silver Bell itself strengthened her reputation and bank account due to covers by the Dixie Chicks, who cut "Top of the World" and "Truth #2" on 2002's Home (over a decade later, Natalie Maines once again returned to this album for its title track, recording "Silver Bell" for her 2013 solo debut, Mother). If the Chicks' covers suggest that the album has a strong country flavor, that's not necessarily wrong, but there’s a roiling rock undertow tempered by a smoky, late-night soulfulness that gives this album its emotional resonance. These sounds are not mutually exclusive. Often, Griffin blends it all together, pushing a song that starts as country into bracing, cathartic territory, a trick that is an outgrowth of Flaming Red. Despite the success the Dixie Chicks had with songs from this album, Silver Bell is not necessarily a record that would've brought Griffin to a larger audience. It is simultaneously inward and explosive, a record that demands close listening and certainly rewards the attention. Griffin may have gotten a little more accessible not much later, but it's hard to hear Silver Bell and not think of it as a compelling transitional LP that's the missing piece of the puzzle, the moment when Patty Griffin inadvertently learned that the hard road not only resulted in a rewarding journey, but it was the road she was destined to take. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released October 7, 2003 | ATO RECORDS

Patty Griffin's first live outing is a fine, poetic, flesh and blood example of what a live recording should be. This is as undressed as it gets; a fine record of a truly magical show at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nash Vegas; a fitting end to a tour that began with the hope of getting a new record on a new label across. The end result is one of those recordings where the singer becomes her songs. Her guests, including Buddy and Julie Miller, Emmylou Harris, John Deaderick, and Jay Joyce all end up as parts and parcels in the songs, rather than as personalities helping to interpret them. The world woven from Griffin's three studio recordings, combined with the energy coming from audience, and the stage itself, make for one of the most engaging, warm, and poetic listening experiences issued in a decade, and one of the best live outings on record. The package includes a DVD with videos for the songs "Rain" and "Chief," and a slice of life documentary of life on the road during a memorable year. Griffin's delivery on "Christina," is nervous, grainy, full of the heartbreak of her subject (Christina Onassis), "Rain" offers an acceptance and resignation of a soul in flux and pain which refuses to yield its desire to transcend. And on it goes, into the night with warmth abounding, and a heart opening, like Frida Kahlo's: revealing everything in the moment. in the safety of camaraderie. and the in the naked light of song itself. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Pop - Released February 22, 2019 | PGM

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 13, 2020 | Lo-Light Records

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Pop - Released February 1, 2019 | PGM

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Country - Released January 11, 2019 | PGM

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Pop - Released August 22, 2019 | Dualtone Music Group, Inc.

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Pop - Released August 14, 2015 | PGM

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Pop - Released September 4, 2015 | PGM