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Patty Griffin - Servant of Love (Sept 11 Europe, Sept 25 ROW)


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Old 07-22-2015, 09:19 PM   #1
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Patty Griffin - Servant of Love (Sept 11 Europe, Sept 25 ROW)

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Old 07-22-2015, 09:23 PM   #2
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Re: Patty Griffin - Servant of Love (Sept 11 )

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In Servant of Love, Patty Griffin digs deep into folk and roots tradition with its grounding in the experience and rhythms of the everyday, but she also writes in the vein of another tradition, less often mined: the transcendentalism of writers like Emerson and Whitman. Grounding itself in the natural world and finding patterns there which speak both to human experience and to the call of the spirit, Griffin’s new album weaves an elemental spell out of the stuff of life.

Griffin suggests that there are twin mysteries at work: the Love that underpins all our human movements-our passions, our desires, our mistakes, our neuroses; and the symmetry in nature that we don’t understand, yet shows up repeatedly, as in the mathematical structure of a seashell or a sunflower.

In the vernacular of folk tales, blues cants, and jazz exploration, Servant of Love creates of these seemingly disparate notions a larger narrative of the human place in nature, in society, and in time. Griffin brings her genius for character-driven storytelling to bear on this overarching narrative of mystery. The same transmigrated soul seems to inhabit the characters in these songs, all different, yet all speaking from the same source: the storyteller herself, of course, but also, the album suggests, a greater source, a mysterious source. -
See more at: http://www.twangnation.com/2015/06/2....69j0XqBK.dpuf
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Old 07-28-2015, 02:21 AM   #3
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Re: Patty Griffin - Servant of Love (Sept 11 Europe, Sept 25 ROW)

First single is called Rider Of Days:


http://www.stereogum.com/1819100/pat...-of-days/mp3s/
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Old 09-22-2015, 03:38 AM   #4
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Re: Patty Griffin - Servant of Love (Sept 11 Europe, Sept 25 ROW)

Oh, just get out of the way everyone else......here's Patty Griffin performing the title track live. Sublime.


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Old 09-23-2015, 12:47 AM   #5
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Re: Patty Griffin - Servant of Love (Sept 11 Europe, Sept 25 ROW)

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The title track opens Patty Griffin’s 10th album with a defiant dare – have you, it seems to say, the stomach for this mysterious and intense journey? A lone, elegiac piano wanders into space. Then Griffin’s voice, slow, saturnine, immersed, leans into the song: “I long to live, I long to live by the ocean/Carry me away, I’m a servant of love.”

It is a remarkable song and a remarkable performance. Griffin’s voice rises and falls, the piano trades notes with a lone muted trumpet, before she reaches a crescendo on the repeated line “words from the deep tell it to me”.
A label press release suggests that Griffin was mining the “transcendentalism of writers like Emerson and Whitman” while digging deep into the American folk and roots tradition, and that there were two mysteries at work: the love that underpins our human emotions and the “symmetry in nature that we don’t understand”.
All this is true to some degree. What it didn’t state was that the American singer-songwriter (51) was also working herself through the painful fallout of her breakup with British rock legend Robert Plant.

There are obvious references, such as the slow-burning, blistered-guitar-laced wounded woman blues of Hurt a Little While and the more plaintive You Never Asked Me, a piano ballad that bends the hardest heart. Clues can also be found in the late-night jazz of Noble Ground (“there ain’t no one without blame”), the beautiful sadness of Rider of Days, and the spectral Everything’s Changed.

However, Servant of Love is an album of recovery and strength rather than anger and despair. It is also about the search for meaning in ourselves and the world around us. Griffin’s singing and her timing are breathtaking; every word, every note matters as she slips naturally from folk to jazz, from blues to ballads.

The vibrant playing and producer Craig Ross’s imaginative settings are also key. Though some songs resist easy understanding, Servant of Love overall will go down as one of the most challenging and rewarding albums you’ll hear this year.
http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/mu...view-1.2347280
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Old 10-01-2015, 06:03 PM   #6
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Re: Patty Griffin - Servant of Love (Sept 11 Europe, Sept 25 ROW)

I have only listened to this right through once, but I think this American Songwriter review pretty much nails it. This is a more challenging album, more musically diverse than probably anything she's done previously. And I don't think any of her previous albums have ever showcased her voice better than this one does.


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For every fan eager to follow as you color outside the lines, there are plenty of others that may yell “Judas,” as was famously slung at Bob Dylan when he had the audacity to front an electric blues rock band in 1966. It remains a tricky balancing act to expand conventional styles without alienating the audience it has taken years, even decades, to acquire. Neil Young has practically made a business out of it and others such as Tom Waits have elevated their status by shifting their approach in more experimental directions. Female artists as diverse as Emmylou Harris (Wrecking Ball,) Joni Mitchell (Mingus, The Hissing Of Summer Lawns) and Linda Ronstadt (take your pick) have been able to pull this transition off with varying degrees of success. Now, Patty Griffin gives it a shot.

It’s evident from the stark, moody opening piano ballad title track, accompanied only by squiggly muted jazz trumpet lines reminiscent of Miles Davis and bowed bass, that Griffin and producer Craig Ross are exploring fresh territory. From the pulsating, loud/soft dynamics to Griffin’s pounding/chiming piano (the only time she plays the instrument here) and her careening voice singing/purring and occasionally howling ethereal lyrics about spirits, shadows, moonlight, and waves, the piece lays down an early gauntlet and sets the bar high for the rest of the songs. In a word, it’s riveting and while little else on the album achieves its raw intensity or entrancing vocals, the remaining 10 selections display a similar propensity to challenge both herself and her listeners’ expectations.

Servant Of Love arrives at the right time. Griffin’s ninth studio release in a two-decade career (and the first recorded for her self-owned imprint) comes after supporting Robert Plant in his Band of Joy and 2013’s introspective, critically praised American Kid, both of which raised her visibility and considerably widened her commercial profile. She is joined by producer/multi-instrumentalist Ross. He plays on nearly every tune and is a driving force in allowing Griffin the space and musical backing to follow her muse. Outside of Daniel Lanois, there aren’t many Americana producers credited with playing “drones.”

That describes as much about stripped-down gems like the searing murder ballad “Good And Gone” and the hypnotic circular pattern of “Everything’s Changed” – both featuring only Griffin’s haunting acoustic guitar and Ralph White’s percussive kalimba – as any multi-hyphenated stylistic attempt at pigeonholing this powerful music into a defined, pre-existing genre. Elsewhere, more common accompaniment of electric guitar, bass and drums on “There Isn’t One Way” drives the vibe into dark, dangerous, ominous swamps. The standard drum kit only appears on a handful of tunes because Ross and Griffin are more concerned with exploring sonic landscapes such as those on “250,000 Miles” and “Rider Of Days” (both featuring backing vocals from Shawn Colvin) that use acoustic guitars and ghostly, spectral singing to bring melancholy moodiness to the already atmospheric groove.

The blues/jazz noir strains of “Noble Ground,” inspired as much by Rickie Lee Jones as Nina Simone, also pushes into edgier areas. It’s assisted by Ephraim Owens’ lonesome trumpet solo and John Deaderick’s deft, dark piano lines. But Griffin’s searing vocals as she sings “I can live the life that’s been written down/ Or fight the urge right to the ground” show a strength, passion and hunger seldom heard before. Perhaps a few more driving moments such as the taut, greasy “Gunpowder” (again featuring Owens’ trumpet) that squirm and shiver with obtuse, evocative yet unpretentious lyrics would deliver a more scorching musical punch.

Not that moments such as Ross’s bare bass and organ – along with Scrappy Jud Newcombe’s sinewy electric guitar that propels the self-affirming “Hurt A Little While” or the delicate “You Never Asked Me” (with its lone piano, the disc’s most traditional moment) – need additional instrumentation to poke their knives under the skin in prickly yet organic ways Griffin has rarely shown. This isn’t the first time she has dipped her toes into other genres; Downtown Church, the album of gospel songs from 2010, showed that Griffin was flexible enough to try something different. But this project is far more adventurous in its presentation of a unique and provocative sonic palette.

Like Emmylou Harris – who has toured and recorded with Griffin – the singe-/songwriter reshapes her definition of American music. She combines rootsy instrumentation with strains of blues, jazz and even a little rock, to invigorate a sound that many, likely including Griffin herself, might have felt was becoming stagnant, if not necessarily stale. While remnants of the “old” Griffin appear, specifically in the closing “Shine a Different Way” with its acoustic mandolin (played by Griffin) and unplugged guitars, Servant Of Love is a bold, unexpected shift in vision.

When Griffin sings, “Let the rusty nail/ No longer hold this world together/ I’m gonna let it be the sun/ In more ways than one/ Shine a different way tomorrow,” it’s clear from her unorthodox but effective foray into more oblique musical and philosophical waters that tomorrow is here today.
http://www.americansongwriter.com/20...rvant-of-love/
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Old 10-01-2015, 07:26 PM   #7
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Re: Patty Griffin - Servant of Love (Sept 11 Europe, Sept 25 ROW)

Something tells me the break-up from Plant wasn't entirely amicable.





I should have seen it from one hundred miles away
I should have beaten the odds of it any day
But I never could keep all the wolves at bay
Snarling and a-growling

It was an exercise in catastrophe
It was a dance of destruction
It was the daze of futility
It was the flight of fragile wings
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Old 10-11-2015, 11:05 AM   #8
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Re: Patty Griffin - Servant of Love (Sept 11 Europe, Sept 25 ROW)

I love it. It hasn't left my player.
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Old 10-11-2015, 08:37 PM   #9
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Re: Patty Griffin - Servant of Love (Sept 11 Europe, Sept 25 ROW)

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Originally Posted by foggy View Post
I love it. It hasn't left my player.
Same here. I love that she's taken a few risks with this album - with her reputation she could just as easily have made another "typical" Patty Griffin album ( and nothing wrong with that!) and kept all the fans happy. Hopefully they'll be happy anyway, but I can imagine a few are going to react to some of these tracks with "This is a bit weird. Needs more songs like Making Pies".
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