Patty Griffin & Friends © KLRU photo by Scott Newton

Patty Griffin & Friends

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Patty Griffin Season 36 by Jaime Cervantes

Patty Griffin’s remarkable ability to copiously fill every note on her album Downtown Church with the soulful passion of a gospel veteran leaves even the most discerning gospel critics in awe. And with her fifth appearance on the Austin City Limit stage, Griffin, and her group of special guests, will be inspiring awe with her “uplifting, moving, and exquisite” (Slant) live performance.

Downtown Church, “is about songs and soaring voices, about faith and fate,” Griffin said. This 14-song collection was recorded over five days in the Downtown Presbyterian Church in Nashville, TN. “Recording in a church was my idea because of the Staples’ recordings,” Griffin said. “You can hear the feet shuffling and the page turning in those recordings. Those places are built to sing in. I didn’t want to record this in a box.”

This album is an accurate representation of Griffin’s musical career. Crossing genre lines and weaving eclectic music together is something Griffin’s deep, moving voice thrives on. According to Billboard, “the album shows a wide range of influences, blending a traditional country sound with a more blues oriented approach.”

Downtown Church includes traditional songs and Hank Williams covers such as “Never Grow Old” and “If I Had My Way” and also several Griffin original creations, including “Coming Home To Me” and her ballad “Little Fire.”

“I felt really free to sing and not worry about playing guitar and not worrying about anything,” she said. “Singing gospel has made me a much more humble person.”

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