Tiny Desk

Patty Griffin

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14 min 46 sec

Patty Griffin has always had a gift for locating a song's nerve endings; for surveying her subject matter and identifying the most efficient possible pathways to listeners' emotions. Her warm, wise voice is comforting, inviting and relatable, even — perhaps especially — as she tackles weighty subjects like middle age and the death of a parent.

The memory of Griffin's father hangs over her recent seventh album, American Kid, but the singer remains far too resourceful to make it a collection of navel-gazing dirges about mortality. In sampling a few of the record's many highlights at the NPR Music offices, she takes care to balance the exquisite mourning of "Faithful Son" — and the sweetly somber "That Kind of Lonely," which Griffin describes as "a song about finally letting go of your delayed adolescence" — by closing her set with the playfully bawdy, kindly celebratory "Get Ready Marie." Inspired by a favorite photo of her grandparents, the song finds Griffin viewing two complicated lives with the generous, hopeful eye she's been casting on her subjects for three fruitful decades now.

Set List

  • "Faithful Son"
  • "That Kind Of Lonely"
  • "Get Ready Marie"

Personnel

  • John Deaderick, accordion
  • Patty Griffin, guitar
  • Dave Pulkingham, guitar
  • Craig Ross, baritone guitar

Credits

Producer: Bob Boilen; Editor: Denise DeBelius; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Kainaz Amaria, Denise DeBelius, Gabriella Garcia-Pardo; photo by Denise DeBelius/NPR

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