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Nanci Griffith

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Nanci Griffith
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By the time she signed with Elektra in 1993, Nanci Griffith had long spun a distinctive music tapestry out of country, folk, bluegrass, and pop. Though she’d penned a number of country hits for artists like Suzy Boguss and Kathy Mattea, commercial success on her own had somehow eluded the Texas-based singer/songwriter. All that would change with the release of her tenth album, Other Voices, Other Rooms. The collection found Griffith paying heartfelt homage to her songwriting heroes, performing songs by such folk giants as Tom Paxton, Woody Guthrie, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Townes Van Zandt.
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Joining Griffith on their own compositions were Bob Dylan and John Prine, while other special guests on the album included such like-minded artists as Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Arlo Guthrie, and Guy Clark. One of 1993’s best-reviewed releases, Other Voices, Other Rooms received the Grammy Award as the year’s “Best Contemporary Folk Album” and firmly placed Griffith among the top ranks of modern American folk artists. Flyer followed in 1994, this time featuring songs written largely by Griffith herself. Produced by Peter Collins (Rush, Indigo Girls) and R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, the album showcased Griffith’s soaring vocals and included musical cameos from Buck, Mark Knopfler, Emmylou Harris, and U2’s Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Jr. 1997’s Blue Roses From The Moons featured live studio takes recorded with her band, The Blue Moon Orchestra, with additional contributions from three surviving members of Buddy Holly’s original Crickets. A second collection of covers, entitled Other Voices, Too (A Trip Back To Bountiful), was released in 1998. Griffith was again joined by an array of stars, including Prine, Lucinda Williams, Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, Gillian Welch, Lyle Lovett, and Richard Thompson. Griffith unveiled her most adventurous work to date the following year with The Dust Bowl Symphony. The album featured some of Griffith’s finest songs recorded at London’s Abbey Road Studios with accompaniment from the London Symphony Orchestra. Griffith’s final Elektra release would be 2001’s Clock Without Hands, marking the singer/songwriter’s first collection of original material in close to five years.
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