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American Kid
     

American Kid

5.0 1
by Patty Griffin
 

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American Kid is Patty Griffin's first album of primarily original material since 2007's Children Running Through. It's her most stripped-down recording since her debut, Living with Ghosts. Acoustic guitars of all stripes, mandolins, earthy drums, percussion, bass, and

Overview

American Kid is Patty Griffin's first album of primarily original material since 2007's Children Running Through. It's her most stripped-down recording since her debut, Living with Ghosts. Acoustic guitars of all stripes, mandolins, earthy drums, percussion, bass, and occasional piano and organ accompany her instantly recognizable voice. Co-produced by the artist and Craig Ross, she is joined by longtime guitarist Doug Lancio, as well as Cody and Luther Dickinson. Robert Plant appears on three songs, including the single "Ohio." The set was recorded in Memphis and Brooklyn. Griffin wrote most of these songs after learning of her father's impending death. They aren't so much about his actual life, but her making sense of the coming absence of his physical presence in hers, what she knew of him and his times. These songs are mostly acoustic; one can hear traces of early blues, various American folk styles, gospel, and vintage country music in her brand of Americana. There isn't anything extra anywhere in the mix. The space in the high lonesome "Go Wherever You Wanna Go," with Luther's National Steel guitar playing slide in counterpart to Griffin's earthy vocal, is almost spooky. The combined supplication and exhortation in the haunted "Don't Let Me Die in Florida" carries traces of prewar and Memphis blues. The duet between Griffin and Plant on "Ohio," is a shimmering, open-tuned droning float, it's lyric binds spiritual and physical love; it would not have been out of place on a Band of Joy record. The feeling of home and hearth saturates her excellent reading of Lefty Frizzell's "Mom & Dad's Waltz," while the musical sensation -- if not the form -- of the folk-blues courses through the disquieting "Faithful Son," with a haunting backing vocal by Plant. "Irish Boy" evokes an early 20th century parlor song; Griffin's only accompaniment is her piano. "Get Ready Marie" is a barroom waltz, complete with a male backing chorus and made loopy by an off-kilter Hammond B-3. The set closer, "Gonna Miss You When You're Gone," is Griffin speaking directly to her father, addressing the deep mark he made upon her life, even as he's passing through it. It's part Lonnie Johnson and Lil Green swing blues, and part Peggy Lee pop. It's slow burning, tender, and bittersweet, a three a.m. confession in an empty room, sung from one spirit to another. While the theme of mortality runs deep through American Kid, so does the celebration of life. Roughshod and unpredictable songs engage it in the present as well as the past, through courage, fear, love, memory, and the grainy, knotty, often invisible ties that bind. With its immediacy, economy, cagey strength, and vulnerability, Griffin delivers these 12 songs not as gifts or statements, but as her own evidence of what is, what was, and what yet may come.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/07/2013
Label:
New West Records
UPC:
0607396627820
catalogNumber:
6278
Rank:
69024

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Patty Griffin   Primary Artist,Guitar,Piano,Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Robert Plant   Vocals,Background Vocals
Byron House   Bowed Bass
Doug Lancio   Guitar,Mandolin,Choir, Chorus,Guitar (Baritone)
Craig Ross   Organ,Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Background Vocals,Omnichord,Guitar (Baritone)
Roy Taylor   Choir, Chorus
John Deaderick   Organ,Piano
Luther Dickinson   Guitar,Choir, Chorus,Slide Guitar
Cody Dickinson   Percussion,Drums,Choir, Chorus,Jug

Technical Credits

Lefty Frizzell   Composer
Robert Plant   Arranger,Composer,Lyricist
Patty Griffin   Composer,Lyricist,Producer
Craig Ross   Producer
Roy Taylor   Engineer
Kevin Houston   Engineer
Leslie Richter   Engineer
Ken Weinstein   Publicity
Charles Paxton   Cover Photo

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American Kid 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For me, this album is amazing, beautiful and oh, so poignant.  i would put it on a par with Children Running Through It-- her other most complex album.