Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]
Never have I been so into a long-distance relationship. Or – not counting pre-pubescent obsession with Mariah Carey – a woman, really. Her sometimes-gentle, sometimes-gruff voice. Her ability to suck me into her dreary realm of fetal-position laments.
Meet Patty Griffin, one of few ladies who can truly break my heart and keep me coming back for more.
She does just that on “Top of the World,” a man’s regretful thoughts before death, which punctuates her heavenly live DVD debut, “Live from the Artists Den,” released in October. Unfolding like a mounting field of snow – relying first on light guitar, then gradually swelling with drums, strings and electric guitar (courtesy of a stellar band) – seeing her first-person plea spring to life warrants repeated plays.
Ah, thank you, DVD player, for that repeat button. Without it, I’d have to hope that my CRS (Can’t Remember Shit) wasn’t working if I were actually sitting in the tiny invite-only audience at an old, intimate New York City synagogue. That’s where the recording took place on Feb. 6, 2007 – the same date as the release of her grade-A “Children Running Through” album.
Of course, as someone whose ears have been treated to her twice in-person – and is totally psyched to give them another weepy-night-out with fellow headliners Emmylou Harris and Shawn Colvin at the Ann Arbor Folk Festival on Jan. 26 – witnessing Griffin’s unrivaled brilliance in, uh, “real life” can’t compare to watching her on digital media. No matter how intimate the cameramen make it feel. No matter how many candles are lit up. And no matter how many times I play it. Which is about equal to the “Six Feet Under” finale. That’s saying a lot.
Just watch the passion she pours into “Heavenly Day,” a destined wedding-staple, caressed with a strong string section. It’s her first love song, she reveals – and then adds she wrote it about her dog. Yeah, yeah: The truth’s out.
With a (mostly sad) song catalog as diverse as Ann Arbor (and which serves as my lay-around winter soundtrack), this singer-songwriter extraordinaire triggers blues on remake “Get Yourself Another Fool,” rocks out hardcore with pissy “No Bad News,” and goes gospel on “Up to the Mountain (MLK Song).” Also, there’s Melissa Etheridge’s cancer-beating anthem “When it Don’t Come Easy.”
The too-short show (clocking in at just over an hour – enough time for me to go through a handful of Kleenex, and wet myself,) gives us non-album gem “Moon Song” and what she claims is her first non-sorrowful song: “Burgundy Shoes,” a delicate piano parable.
The sad part – maybe? – is that I know Patty (yes, Patty) better than she knows her own little self; it’s not her Zoloft-induced debut. “Blue Sky” was. See. I truly have fallen for a woman.
Emmylou Harris with Patty Griffin and Shawn Colvin
31st Ann Arbor Folk Festival
6:30 p.m. Jan. 26
Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor