Nanci Griffith
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

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Nanci Griffith is a singer-songwriter from Texas who blends country and pop and sets her stories of personal loss and failure in an oppressive universe, worthy of Kafka's novels.

There's a Light Beyond These Woods (Philo, 1978) is the work of a romantic soul, a work that is consistently tender, nostalgic (There's a Light Beyond These Woods), touching. Poet in My Window (Philo, 1982) features more complex compositions that tell more complex stories (Neon And Waltzes, Julie Anne, Heart of a Miner). Once in a Very Blue Moon (Philo, 1984), one of her best, is evocative and metaphysical, dreadful and realistic (Daddy Said, Ballad of Robin Hunter-Smith). The commercial breakthrough came with The Last of the True Believers (Philo, 1986) and its Love at the Five & Dime.

Griffith resorted to traditional country arrangements for Lone Star State of Mind (MCA, 1987). The hit from this album was Julie Gold's From a Distance, but the real highlights are Ford Econoline, Cold Hearts Closed Minds, Lone Star State of Mind and Trouble in the Fields

Griffith then turned to relationships with Little Love Affairs (MCA, 1988), that includes I Knew Love and Anyone Can Be Somebody's Fool, and Storms (MCA, 1989), that includes If Wishes Were Changes and Drive-in Movies.

Her progression towards the melody and arrangements of pop music culminated in Late Night Grande Hotel (MCA, 1991), that features strings and catchy refrains. The songs tend to be more subdued and bluesier. Thematic unity lends its the feeling of a soundtrack for a road movie (Hometown Streets, It's Just Another Morning Here).

Griffith returned to her country roots with Other Voices Other Rooms (Elektra, 1993), a collection of covers, an idea that will be replicated by Other Voices Too (Elektra, 1996).

Flyer (Elektra, 1994) and Blue Roses from the Moons (Elektra, 1997) were mostly disappointing.

The Dust Bowl Symphony (Elektra, 1999) revisits some of her songs with help from a symphony orchestra.

On Clock Without Hands (Elektra, 2001) Griffith seems to have lost even her skills with words. Hearts in Mind (2004) was marked by the terrorist attacks of 2001 and by the George W Bush wars, but she fared better with the humble Last Train Home.

Ruby's Torch (2006) is devoted to torch ballads, mostly by other composers.

The unusually uplifting and optimistic The Loving Kind (2009) was followed by the gloomy Intersection (2012). It is telling that the best songs from the latter are a cover and one of her old songs revisited, It's Just Another Morning Here (1991). These albums mixed private events with a renewed (and sometimes preachy) sociopolitical interest.

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