Sunday, 8 August 2010

Sunday Morning Coffee with Nanci Griffith

Welcome once more to my weekly show and today an American songstress is the star.  Hope it’s not sexist to use “songstress”.

Nanci Griffith1

Nanci Caroline Griffith, born in 1953 in Austin, Texas, is a singer, songwriter and guitarist who deserves more fame than she has garnered already.  I’ve seen her described as a country / folk singer but what is important is that she is bloody good.

Boil the kettle, make your coffee, find a comfy seat, sit back, relax, listen and enjoy the next 45 minutes or so in Nanci’s great company.

Boots of Spanish Leather

This Dylan song was the first I’d heard Nanci sing – on the original Transatlantic Connections CD’s – and I loved her version.  In fact, I didn’t even know that it was a Dylan.  Nanci disappeared from my life until I got broadband at the end of 2009: YouTube and more Transatlantic Sessions brought her back to me.

This video looks as though it is the one from Transatlantic Sessions.

Great song, great voice, great arrangement!


By the time she was 14 Nanci was already perform her songs at venues in and around Austin.  I guess she’s been writing and singing ever since although I did read that she suffered from severe writers’ block for about 5 years ending in 2009.

Not My Way Home

I had never heard this before but the cello intro had me hooked – beautiful.  The rest of the song continues that standard.


Red is the Rose

A song by any other name! I’m sure you’ll recognise the Scots song which is much more famous.  This, however, is still lovely.

Nanci, with her pure voice , owns every song. 


Who Knows Where the Time Goes

Another song from the brilliant Transatlantic Sessions series.   Nanci gives her rendition of Sandy Denny’s great song.

Time and I are strangers who may pass without recognising each other.  I couldn’t, though, let this song pass: this was  always making the final selection for the show.


We bring the first half to a close with a John Prine classic.  This is from “Later with Jools Holland” show from BBC2.  I think Jools has taken over the mantle of “Old Grey Whistle Test”

Speed of the Sound of Loneliness

If you heard any extraneous noise during this then don’t worry.  ‘Twas only my heart strings being plucked!


Ready for a top up?  Go get it now.  We’ll wait.  A couple of minutes only.


The show rolls on

Once in a very Blue Moon

With eyes closed I was moved a very long way but now I’m back.  Did this move you too?


More than a Whisper

Again Nanci  is so expressive but then this is no surprise.


Love Conquers All

Does it?  Let’s see.

Don’t be fooled by the paltry applause at the end, this is brilliant.



Talk to Me While I Am Listening

Listen to this very carefully, please.

I love this so much, want to hear it so often.


We finish with a song which deserves to be much more widely known.

From A Distance

I’d heard this song so often but had never listened to the lyrics.  Fool!

Not at a distance now but up close, really close!

Thank you Julie Gold and Nanci.


Apologies to all visitors.  This show has been put together very quickly.  The music wasn’t  - great care was taken - but the words were necessarily written with great haste.

This is NOT how I planned my shows but life has intervened.

Tune in again next week and thanks for listening.


  1. She is a star, no doubt about it.

    There must be something in the water in Austin that produces so much great music. They call it The Live Music Capital of the World®.

  2. Hope it’s not sexist to use “songstress”.

    If it were, that's even more reason to say it - anything to get up the noses of the PC lobby.

    Nancy - it helps that she's as pretty as a picture, mom's apple pie. It also helps that, as JD said, she's a star, a real talent.

    It helps that she seems a nice person.

    It also helps that some of her work is vaguely Celtic, e.g. the cello number.

    Fine choice, Calum and more learning being done on a Sunday morning, thanks to you.

  3. Just lovely...simply lovely. Thanks!

  4. Thank you all for caring enough to write.

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