Nanci Griffith – A Musical Storyteller!

Most people would easily lump Nanci Griffith in with all the other great singers and songwriters around. But you would be doing yourself a great disservice to your musical palette if you did. For she’s far more expressive, has a broader source to pull her songwriting skills from. And she conveys a sophisticated allure that seems to draw you in and welcome you like an old friend. 

Surely this is one of the reasons to understand why Nanci interprets this song so masterfully. And to see this woman perform on stage, the musician Nanci with no frills, just her, the band and her beautiful voice. When she sings, she reels you right in and makes you feel right home.

While this may sound boring to some, those who have seen her perform live knows what I’m talking about. The way she manages her voice, interprets the song, and manages to portray such a great story with the music she presents. Below is the song that Bette Midler and Nanci Griffith both had a hit with – From A Distance. Along with a few other hits!

Nanci Griffith – Austin City Limits 1989

In 1992 when Nanci releases her album “Other Voices”, “Other Rooms” Emmylou sang on two songs. Nanci credits Emmylou for telling her that she should record an album of her favorite songs and singers. Emmylou also joined Nanci for the “Other Voices” concert live video in Texas. And of course Emmylou records two of Nanci’s songs “Golf Coast Highway” and “Its a Hard Life”. 

It’s no surprise that Emmylou would record her songs because they’re great and each of these women were supportive of each others careers. She even won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album in 1994 for her recording Other Voices, Other Rooms and she achieves worldwide fame with her signature tracks, ‘Love at the Five and Dime’, ‘If These Old Walls Could Speak’ and ‘Outbound Plane’. 

ACL – Musicians:

Denny Bixby on bass, Phillip Donnelly on guitar & Slide guitar, James Hooker on keyboards, Fran Breen on Drums and Nanci Griffith on guitar.

Tours & Collaborations

Over the years, Griffith has toured with various other artists such as Buddy Holly’s band, The Crickets; John Prine; Iris DeMent; Suzy Bogguss; and Judy Collins. Griffith has recorded duets with many artists, among them Emmylou Harris, Mary Black, John Prine, Don McLean, and Jimmy Buffett. As well as Dolores Keane, Willie Nelson, Adam Duritz, The Chieftains, John Stewart; and Darius Rucker. She’s also contributed background vocals on many other recordings. Below is one of my favorites by her because it’s a great song but it also highlights her fantastic songwriting skills.

Griffith suffered from severe writer’s block for a number of years after 2004, lasting until 2009’s release of “The Loving Kind” album, which contains nine selections that she’s written and composed either entirely by herself or as collaborations. Still keeping busy but due to issues with cancer, she’s still around just not as active. But in the meantime, she has quite a discography that you can check out and enjoy. As well as livestreaming options to get to know her music more. 

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