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Nanci Griffith

Other Voices, Too (A Trip Back to Bountiful)  Hear it Now

RS: 3.5of 5 Stars Average User Rating: 5of 5 Stars

2003

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Nanci Griffith's second volume of covers, Other Voices, Too (A Trip Back to Bountiful), is a kind of fantasy Newport Folk Festival, with more than seventy-five accomplished participants and the requisite corny finale ("If I Had a Hammer"). Like its predecessor, 1993's Other Voices, Other Rooms, the new album pays homage to the singer-songwriters who have inspired Griffith's own country-folk oeuvre. The twist is that Other Voices, Too features lead vocals by several of its guests. Griffith has assembled an astounding crew of singers and players to bring to life a rich body of British, American and Canadian songcraft. She trades lines with a virtual who's who of maverick Texans – Steve Earle, Jerry Jeff Walker, Rodney Crowell, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Eric Taylor and Guy Clark – on Clark's "Desperadoes Waiting for a Train." "The Streets of Baltimore" finds Griffith dueting with John Prine as Darius Rucker harmonizes and the song's composer, Harlan Howard, contributes a spoken bit. On the 1960 Ferlin Husky hit, "Wings of a Dove," Lucinda Williams' bruised vocals add sorrowful depth to Griffith's lilting soprano. Large, hootenanny-style ensembles spotlight folk legends such as Odetta, Dave Van Ronk and Jean Ritchie.

Instrumental virtuosos abound, too, including guitarist Richard Thompson, multi-instrumentalist Fats Kaplin and button accordionist Sharon Shannon; on two tracks, Griffith is backed by Buddy Holly's Crickets. Surrounding herself with pioneering rock & rollers, veteran folkies, iconoclastic stylists and today's upstart individualists, Griffith has forged an extraordinary bridge between folk tradition and the contemporary acoustic scene. (RS 792)


HOLLY GEORGE-WARREN





(Posted: Jul 9, 1998)

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