Griffin's Longing Lyrics Match Heartbreaking Voice

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Patty Griffin in NPR's Studio 4A

Patty Griffin in NPR's Studio 4A. Paul Schomer/NPR hide caption

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Impossible Dream

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While not a household name, Patty Griffin is a well-established songwriter in the music industry. Her material has been recorded and performed by more well-known peers, including Mary Chapin Carpenter, the Dixie Chicks and Bette Midler. Singers — and fans as well — are drawn to Griffin's intimate portraits of the lonesome and often bitter characters she's able to bring to life so completely.

But the best way to discover the true measure of Griffin's talent is to experience it straight from the source. As NPR's Steve Inskeep says, Griffin's songs perfectly fit her heartbreaking voice — they sound extremely personal when she herself sings them, conveying an overwhelming sense of longing.

Inskeep talks with Griffin in Studio 4A about her youth in Old Town, Maine, as the youngest of seven children and the inspiration provided by her mother, who would sing to her children throughout the rainy days. Griffin and her band also perform several songs from Impossible Dream, her latest CD.

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