Patty Griffin – 1000 Kisses: “

Fusion 45 Presents Paste Magazine’s Albums of the Decade #15

(BTW: Today is Fusion 45s Third Anniversary)

Patty GriffinEach year when the Grammy nominations are released, I make a beeline to the nominees in the Best Contemporary Folk Album category. Although it’s a grouping deemed unworthy for inclusion on the Grammy Awards broadcast, it’s always the most eclectic and interesting mix of artists among the celebrated genres. Contemporary Folk serves as a catch-all category where Zydeco artists compete with alt-country and acoustic rock stalwarts. Past winners have included Lucinda Williams, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Tom Waits, John Prine, and Bruce Springsteen. The 2003 Best Contemporary Folk Album winner was This Side, the splendid ‘youthgrass’ release from Nickel Creek that beat out an equally likable effort from a Boston singer-songwriter named Patty Griffin.

Gentle acoustic guitar strumming, quiet vibraphone, some cello, and a hint of accordion provide the sparse, almost weightless, musical accompaniment to Griffin’s voice on her nominated album 1000 Kisses. Far from being overblown, Griffin includes only 10 songs on the CD, including a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Stolen Car and a fantastic Spanish language ditty Mil Besos (the title track — comprende?). Her original numbers are a step above standard coffeehouse fare largely due to Griffin’s alluring voice — a mixture of Joni Mitchell, Nanci Griffith, and Toni Price. The highlight of the disc is the torchy, Gershwin-esque Tomorrow Night containing a muted trumpet interlude at the bridge that takes the listener straight to paradise. Even if the Academy didn’t reward Griffin with un-televised accolades, her voice and music will certainly reward those who fall for her 1000 Kisses. (TJ Simon, Musicbox Online)

Stolen Car
Making Pies
Be Careful
Long Road
Nobody’s Cryin’
Tomorrow Night
Mil Besos

(Via Fusion 45.)