Poet In My Window [Bonus Track]

Editorial Reviews

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Originally released on Featherbed Records in 1982 amid a hectic touring schedule and digitally remastered for re-release by Philo/Rounder, Griffith?s second, country-tinged album, with colorful splashes of pedal steel and drums, foreshadows the singer's emergence into the ?80s New Country scene and displays her evolution into lyrical, vocal, and musical maturity. Wearing her heart and Southern-literary influences (Carson McCullers and Thomas Wolfe, dashed with Yankee Norman Mailer) on her songwriting sleeve, Griffith spins intimate character vignettes into a redemptive books-on-the-road ballad album filled with memories of people gone, moved on, or facing life head-on. From the opening ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
Originally released on Featherbed Records in 1982 amid a hectic touring schedule and digitally remastered for re-release by Philo/Rounder, Griffith’s second, country-tinged album, with colorful splashes of pedal steel and drums, foreshadows the singer's emergence into the ‘80s New Country scene and displays her evolution into lyrical, vocal, and musical maturity. Wearing her heart and Southern-literary influences (Carson McCullers and Thomas Wolfe, dashed with Yankee Norman Mailer) on her songwriting sleeve, Griffith spins intimate character vignettes into a redemptive books-on-the-road ballad album filled with memories of people gone, moved on, or facing life head-on. From the opening my-wheels-are-gonna-carry-me-away-too-long “Can’t Love Wrong,” a lament for the heart of a lonely man who's “the work of a Southern writer/where everyman’s a fighter,” she segues into a stately country waltz to “America’s fatherless child” (“Marilyn Monroe/Neon & Waltzes”); the Appalachian last-chance-mining-for-love’s-treasure plaint of a woman who kept her feelings buried deep (“Heart of a Miner”); and a poignant portrait of an old wino dancing the barroom floor in white satin gloves (“Julie Anne”), followed by the nostalgic minor-chord dreams of “You Can’t Go Home Again.” The album gathers glorious speed with a dark old-time-chain-gang barbershop-quartet chant-tale about a Texas boy enslaved in the Manhattan rat race (“Wheels”), a sublimely catchy signature song to the solitary pains and pleasures of life on the road (“Workin’ in Corners”), and a lilting bluegrass turn about a love’s-lost country boy “buried in these hills” (“Waltzing with the Angels”). --Janie Matthews
All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
While Poet in My Window is only a small step up from Nanci Griffith's debut, the album finds her inching toward the mature art of Once in a Very Blue Moon. While guitars and an occasional mandolin embellished There's a Light Beyond These Woods, a fuller country sound graces its follow-up. Pedal steel and multiple acoustic guitars fill out "Can't Love Wrong" and "Heart of a Miner," giving them lots of body. While Griffith's vocals sometimes bordered on timid on her first album, the bigger country-folk sound inspires a more vigorous approach here. Indeed, on "Wheels" and "October Reasons," she shows herself capable of belting out a phrase or two without losing the vulnerable underside of the song. Evelyn Taylor offers a bit of harmony here and there, adding to the "bigger" sound of the album and pleasantly complementing Griffith's voice. Lyrically, A Poet in My Window offers sharp observations and memorable lines on pieces like "Workin' These Corners." When Griffith sings "She's just a hill country girl home from the city/Her pockets full of plenty of those neon lights" on "Waltzing With the Angels," she manages to be both clever and insightful. While all of these elements work together to create a strong impression on Poet in My Window, the songs lack the standout quality that would mark a half a dozen cuts on Once in a Very Blue Moon. The earlier album is nonetheless easy on the ears, and fans unfamiliar with it will appreciate watching a young poet find her bearings. [The 2002 release by Rounder includes a previously unreleased song, "Can't Love Wrong," not included on the original.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/8/2002
  • Label: Philo / Umgd
  • UPC: 011671123523
  • Catalog Number: 711235

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Nanci Griffith Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Eric Taylor Bass
Dick Blatter Baritone
John Catchings Cello
Al Copp Bass
Marlin Griffith Tenor (Vocal)
John Hill Drums
James Hooker Synthesizer, Piano
Doug Lancio Electric Guitar
Pat McInerney Drums
Evelyne Taylor Vocal Harmony
Brian Wood Acoustic Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar, Vocal Harmony
Wells Young Synthesizer, Bass, Piano
John Grosnick Lead
Ron de la Vega Bass, Cello
Technical Credits
Nanci Griffith Producer, Cover Design
Jim Rooney Producer
Marlin Griffith Graphic Design
John Hill Producer, Engineer
Denny Purcell Mastering
Mark Miller Engineer, Remixing
Eric Conn Digital Editing
Laurence Hill Producer, Engineer
Wayne Miller Producer
Mark Rector Vocal Arrangements
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