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American Kid

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Editors’ Notes

With her first studio album since 2007's Children Running Through, Patty Griffin reflects on the impact her father—who was dying before her eyes—made on her life. Whether it's a slow, calm cover of Lefty Frizzell's honky-tonk hit "Mom and Dad's Waltz" or her own unflinching "Go Wherever You Wanna Go," Griffin elicits a natural and understated performance from her backing band, which includes Luther and Cody Dickinson of The North Mississippi All-Stars. Her creative and romantic partner, Robert Plant, contributes vocals to three tunes, including the droning blues of "Ohio," where—in a tale inspired by Toni Morrison's Beloved—runaway slaves plan a meeting that ominously might not happen. "Highway Song," "That Kind of Lonely," and "Not a Bad Man" are the sort of haunting folk-country ballads that have been Griffin's forte since her start in the Boston coffeehouses; a few simple notes dropping down the scale create an unspeakable sorrow. "Gonna Miss You When You're Gone" stirs from an old folk haze to offer words to her father, which aren't sufficient considering the size of her loss. It's heartbreaking stuff.

Customer Reviews

Love It!

Nearly everything Patty Griffin does is phenomenal. Ohio is no exception. Not to sound too old, but I could always rely on her style of music to remain constant. In this crazy world we live in, there is great comfort in that. Music has always been a saving grace. Thank you Patty for providing a little bit of comfort and a chance to breath for a minute.

No one else is like Patty

She could record herself gargling and I would buy it. And love it.

Not her best, just darn good

Patty has the voice of an angel and the songwriting skills to match. This isn't my favorite release from her by a long shot but it's still Patty. She's in an elite group of singer songwriters in my book. Any release from her is cause for celebration and guaranteed new songs added to my library. She is a truly special talent.


Born: March 16, 1964 in Old Town, ME

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The youngest of seven children, Patty Griffin grew up hearing her mother sing while doing housework and her grandmother's family sing on the front porch at night. In addition to listening intently to the Beatles, Griffin was fascinated by the music of Bruce Springsteen and Rickie Lee Jones. Although she acquired a $50 guitar and began writing songs at the age of 16, Griffin gave little thought to a career as a musician. After living in Florida for nearly two years, she moved to Boston and married,...
Full Bio