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Tuesday, April 10, 2012


ROUTES & BRANCHES
April 7, 2012
Scott Foley


I've always counted Nanci Griffith among the greatest americana songwriters of her generation.  "Banks Of the Pontchartrain", "Gulf Coast Highway", "Love At the Five and Dime", "Listen To the Radio".  I would argue, however, that it's been since 1994's Flyer that she's put together an original album as worthy as her new Intersection.  Recent albums have always boasted a track or two that merited airplay, but they were more likely than not cushioned by treacly, overwrought tunes that embarrassed me a bit.  Griffith's voice has always been idiosyncratic, it's true, but it had lost something recently. 

As soon as I heard my first glimpse of Intersection, "Hell No (I'm Not Alright)", I knew something had changed for the better.  Tougher, less sentimental, and that voice.  Playing and writing with Pete and Maura Kennedy and drummer Pat McInerny, Nanci Griffith hasn't sounded this relevant in years.  Recorded at home and largely live, it's also a much more personal album. "It's emotional for me," she writes on her website.  "It makes my heart pound, thinking I'm going to be totally exposed here ..."  It also seems to be a somewhat angry album, or at least acknowledges the more challenging aspects of our present day.

Please stay tuned next Saturday, April 14, for a 4-hour Episode of Routes & Branches, sitting in for Andy's Roadhouse Radio.  Also, on Thursday, April 19 I'll be joined on Morning Mix by Gretchen Peters.  By month's end, KRFC will be entering into our twice-yearly Membership Drive, so please save your pennies (and twenties!).

*  Matt the Electrician, "$100 Bill"  Big Sweet Life  (Freedom, 05)
*  Wrinkle Neck Mules, "Apprentice To Ghosts"  Apprentice To Ghosts  (Lower 40, 12)
*  Amelia White, "Mercy"  Beautiful & Wild  (Self, 12)
*  Kane Welch Kaplan, "Postcard From Mexico (live)"  Live At the Bluebird  (Dead Reckoning, 12)
*  Jaimi Shuey, "Poison Kisses"  Wrong Girl  (Boronda, 07)
*  Haunted Windchimes, "Wanderin' Heart"  Out With the Crow  (Blank Tape, 12)
*  Lukas Nelson, "Golden Rule"  Wasted  (Self, 12)
^  Nanci Griffith, "Never Going Back"  Intersection  (Proper, 12)
*  Wandering, "Hey Mr Spaceman"  Go On Now You Can't Stay Here  (Self, 12)
*  Yawpers, "Jesus Car"  Savage Blue  (Self, 12)
*  Drunken Prayer, "Balloons"  Into the Missionfield  (Fluff & Gravy, 12)
*  Emmylou Harris, "Love That Will Never Grow Old"  Brokeback Mountain  (Verve, 05)
*  Mike & Ruthy, "My New York City"  NYC EP  (Humble Abode, 12)
*  Johnny Cash, "Far Side Banks Of Jordan"  Soul Of Truth  (Columbia, 12)
*  Kate Campbell, "Alabama Dept of Corrections ..."  1000 Pound Machine  (Large River, 12)
*  Those Darlins, "Pet You and Hold You"  internet single  (Oh Wow Dang, 12)
*  Kasey Chambers, "Train Wreck"  Little Bird  (Essence, 11)
*  Slobberbone, "Little Drunk Fists"  Barrel Chested  (New West, 97)
*  Arliss Nancy, "Crease"  Simple Machines  (Suburban Home, 12)
*  Marvin Etzioni, "You Are the Light"  Marvin Country!  (Nine Mile, 12)
*  Justin Townes Earle, "Maria"  Nothing's Gonna Change ...  (Bloodshot, 12)
*  Tom Gillam, "Good Feelin' To Know"  Rustic Beauty  (Self, 12)
*  Farrar Johnson Parker James, "Angel's Blues"  New Multitudes  (Rounder, 12)
*  Trampled By Turtles, "Alone"  Stars &  Satellites  (Thirty Tigers, 12)
*  Grant Farm, "Times Have Changed"  Grant Farm  (Self, 12)
*  Cary Hudson, "Broke Down and Busted"  Mississippi Moon  (Self, 12)
*  Moot Davis, "Rags To Rhinestones"  Man About Town  (Highway Kind, 12)

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