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Nanci Griffith - Ruby's Torch

Ruby's Torch

Nanci Griffith

Rounder 11661-3265-2

Rounder Records
1 Camp Street
Cambridge, MA 02140

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Monica Griffin
(mgriffin(at)olpdotnet)

Let me start by saying I'm not a Nanci Griffith aficionado but I've always enjoyed any and everything I've ever heard her sing.

When I received this CD, I excitedly unwrapped it and played it right away. My first impression was that this isn't really the Nanci Griffith I'm used to hearing but that was okay! The first words that came to mind were "That was right purdy!" and smiled as I imagined she might have said it that way herself.

Torch songs, by definition, are songs of heartbreak from lost or even unrequited love, which makes them pretty sad by nature. Many of these songs didn't sound familiar to me upon first listen even though I am familiar with many of the old jazz standards that fit in this category. But I was drawn to listen to this CD again and again because it's so absolutely beautiful. Soon they felt so comfortable and desirable (she thankfully erases the memory of Barry Manilow's version of Bluer Than Blue), even moving me to cry during a time when I really needed the release a good cry can bring.

After several listens, I still can't get over how truly beautiful these songs really are and even though they do have that a feel of the old torch standards, this is definitely a collection of torch songs the Americana/Folk/Roots music enthusiast can thoroughly enjoy.

Track List:

  • When I Dream (Sandy Mason Theoret)
  • If These Walls Could Speak (Jimmy Webb)
  • Ruby's Arms (Tom Waits)
  • Never Be the Sun (Donal MacDonagh Long)
  • Bluer Than Blue (Charles Randolph Goodrum)
  • Brave Companion of the Road (Nanci Griffith)
  • Grapefruit Moon (Tom Waits)
  • Please Call Me Baby (Tom Waits)
  • Late Night Grande Hotel (Nanci Griffith)
  • In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning (David Mann & Bob Hilliard)
  • Drops From the Faucet (Frank Christian)

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)

Copyright 2007, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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