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Late Night Grande Hotel

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Album Review

Featuring some of Nanci Griffith's best and most original material — as well as a few equally brilliant cover songs — Late Night Grande Hotel blurs the lines between the singer/songwriter's Texas-rooted folk and the Nashville urban cosmopolitan country scene. Griffith has once again expanded her arrangements to include the five-piece Blue Moon Orchestra and also a few well-placed guest spots from Phil Everly (vocals), Mo Foster (electric bass), Tanita Tikaram (vocals), and Rod Argent (string arrangements/producer). The album's darker pop-oriented material can arguably be attributed to Argent's involvement. Of the 11 tracks, all but three are Griffith originals. Among them are some of the album's best material. As she had done with her crossover hit "From a Distance," Griffith beautifully interprets another Julie Gold composition, "Heaven." The cover of Vince Bell's introspective masterpiece "Sun & Moon & Stars" is not only one of this album's finest tracks, but it is also among the highlights of all the material during her five-year tenure with MCA. The remarkable intimacy she brings to the piece recalls her days on Philo and songs such as "Love at the Five and Dime" and "There's a Light Beyond These Woods." The third cover is of Tom Waits' somber "San Diego Serenade." While Griffith's vocals don't contain the huskiness and tragedy of the author, they add an even more distressing facet to the lyrics — perhaps coming from a deeper place within the artist. There are a few all-stars among Griffith's compositions as well. "One Blade Shy of a Sharp Edge" continues the overtly political messages that she often credits to the enormous influence that Lyndon B. Johnson and Pete Seeger have had on her life and work. "It's Just Another Morning Here" is full of the wit and innocuous charm that have continued to make Griffith such an endearing composer and performer. While not her best disc during the late '80s/early '90s, Late Night Grande Hotel is a solid effort with some of her most mature material to date.

Customer Reviews

Nanci's Grande Album

I bought this album when it was first released in the early '90's and subsequently bought a few of her albums that followed. To me, this album is one of those classic albums that stands completely on its own. It's one of those albums that infects you with its melodies and it's moods. Late Night Grande Hotel is NOT a depressing album; it's just a great album of great music, vocals, and lyrics!!!

Greatest song ever written

Late Night Grande Hotel is one of the most beautiful songs ever written. Thank you Nanci!


Born: July 6, 1953 in Seguin, TX

Genre: Country

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Straddling the fine line between folk and country music, Nanci Griffith has become as well-known for her brilliant, confessional songwriting as her beautiful voice. A self-styled "folkabilly" singer, Griffith began as a kindergarten teacher and occasional folksinger. The country scene took her to heart in the mid-'80s, giving her a reputation as a quality songwriter through hit covers of Griffith's songs by Kathy Mattea and Suzy Bogguss. Finding no luck with commercial country radio however, Griffith...
Full Bio
Late Night Grande Hotel, Nanci Griffith
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