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Patty Griffin’s New CD – “Downtown Church”

Submitted by on January 22, 2010 – 11:29 am2 Comments

Audio for this feature is no longer available. The album was released on Jan. 26, 2010


For years I considered Lucinda Williams to be the gold standard for female “country” artists. Her Car Wheels On a Gravel Road changed my life. My wife and I are both big Lucinda Williams fans and we’ve been performing several of her songs for years now.  And then I discovered Patty Griffin.

A friend from Seattle was visiting and one night we found ourselves wandering downtown in search of live music and saw that Patty Griffin was playing at the Gypsy Tea Room. What luck. It was an inspiring performance and I learned a thing or two from her guitar player and band director, Doug Lancio.  Guys are like that, we watch one another from the corner of our eye to see if we can pick up a new guitar phrase or chord.  It’s fun.

Griffin and Lancio have a rare chemistry that’s both captivating and instructional.  I play guitar behind a female singer so observing their interaction and on-stage communication was something to appreciate.

Lancio plays very tasteful guitar parts and he’ll school you on tone.  Her 1000 Kisses album set a new gold standard for me.  I had my wife listen to the CD and she was also hooked – we started learning songs immediately.  Listen to her version of the Lonnie Johnson classic, “Tomorrow Night” to get a taste for her music and arrangement.

Then she came out with Children Running Through CD which opened up a whole new chapter of Patty Griffin for us. My daughter sings several songs from that CD including “Trapeze” which features Emmylou Harris‘ angelic harmony. And if you like grittier stuff don’t miss Doug Lancio’s positively insane guitar work on the song “Getting Ready” from Children Running Through

Patty Griffin and Doug LancioFast forward to right about now – on the 26th Griffin is releasing   “Downtown Church” which may be the best music she’s ever made.  It’s exclusively on NPR.  Yes the entire album is online until the 26th of January!

Her new CD is a wonderful collection of gospel, blues and hillbilly tunes.  Originally from Maine I think Patty Griffin captures the very essence of  southern music and culture, and she continues to set a new gold standard with each new CD.

You can pre-order it on Amazon
or wait for it to show up on the shelf of your local brick and mortar.  In the meantime, give it a listen.  I’ve embedded a few songs below, or you can go to the NPR site and hear all of the songs from Downtown Church You’ll be glad you did.

UPDATE – January 26th, 2010:

Well it was a fun ride but the songs are no longer streaming on NPR so I have removed the links.   Patty’s CD has been released as scheduled.  I’m adding a little Yahoo thingy where you can sample her new CD from here:

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Chris started riding a bike again when he noticed the Preston Ridge Trail being constructed across the street from his house. Since then he co-founded Biking in Dallas, has gone through countless Craigslist bike projects (some better than others) and can be found pedaling around town on a Electra Ticino with a camera in tow.

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