Nov 25, 2007

Patty Griffin @ Clarendon Guest House, Katoomba

I would have to honestly say that a few years ago, the music of Patty Griffin would not be something I would seek out or be interested in. Her style of classic country would just not be to my taste. But over time as I become more and more exposed to different styles of music, I seek out those artists who are recommended as paragons of country/folk music. And Patty Griffin is most certainly a paragon. Although she has been on the scene for quite a while, I only have her excellent 2007 release "Children Running Through" in my collection. But that was enough to seek her out on her just recently concluded Australian Tour. In fact, what better way to see her live then to enjoy her music at the historic Clarendon Guest House in the Blue Mountains, just outside Sydney. The Clarendon is a lovely, historic hotel with a theatre/restaurant inside. Small and intimate it was a great way to experience the charm and majestic voice of Patty Griffin.

A quick history lesson. Patty Griffin is from Maine, but now resides in Austin, Texas. She has released 7 albums and her songs have been covered by artists such as The Dixie Chicks, Martina McBride, Emmylou Harris, Solomon Burke and even Kelly Clarkson. Her music knows no boundaries of style. She swings from Country to Folk to Rock to Soul to Gospel. And so it proved Friday night. Switching from upright piano to acoustic guitar I was enthralled and bewitched by her performance. Thankfully she played a lot from her recent album, but I was also entranced by everything she played. The gorgeous "Burgundy Shoes" was stunning as was the gospel like "Heavenly Day". You could hear a pin drop when she closed with the breath taking "Up To The Mountain", whilst numbers like "No Bad News" and "Stay on the Ride" were rollicking and just sheer fun. I also loved songs that I need to investigate more such as "Truth No 2" and "Top of the World" which have both been covered by The Dixie Chicks. She was supported through out, mainly on electric guitar, by Nashville producer and musician Doug Lancio. Lancio was perfect, playing with great texture and subtlety he added just what was needed on every song. Oh, two more things elevated the night to special status. Ms Griffin is one of the most warm and generous performers I have ever seen on stage. She was humble and funny, communicating with great feeling between songs as she told sweet anecdotes about her life and music. And her voice. Holy Cow. It is something to behold. Deep and powerful, it resonated through out the room with ease. Containing every element of passion and power, it was a privilege to hear live.


  • At November 26, 2007 , Blogger Pat said...

    I'm with you Wayne. Not typically my sort of stuff either, but she blew me away when I saw her at the Athenaeum


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