Thursday, October 16, 2014

Wish I could be there for this one

Patty Griffin will be in Dallas next month
In case you haven’t heard, two of the best pop singers in the business today, Patty Griffin and Mavis Staples, will be together Thursday, Nov. 13, at the Majestic Theater in concert benefitting the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center. According to its website, the center uses music therapy in the recovery process for abused children.

I have seen Griffin in concert once, at the very first Austin City Limits music festival, and her performance moved me emotionally on a couple of occasions, most memorably when she sang "When It Don’t Come Easy." I have been searching for opportunities to see her again ever since. It is worth getting tickets to this concert just for Griffin alone, but when you pair her with Staples, this becomes a very special, not to be missed, concert event.

She will be playing closer to me the following night, but unfortunately that show is a taping for an Austin City Limits telecast and tickets for that sold out eons ago.

I discovered Griffin with the song "One Big Love" that was featured on her second album, Flaming Red (1998). Her next album, 2002's Stolen Kisses is perhaps my favorite, featuring such great songs as "Rain," "Chief," "Making Pies" and "Long Ride Home," although it was 2004's Impossible Dream that featured my favorite Griffin song, the aforementioned "When It Don’t Come Easy," along with "Love Throw a Line."

Her songs have been covered by Linda Ronstadt ("Falling Down"), the Dixie Chicks ("Truth No. 2," "Top of the World," "Let Him Fly"), Mary Chapin Carpenter ("Dear Old Friend"), Emmylou Harris ("One Big Love") and many others..

In 2010 she joined Robert Plant’s Band of Joy for a tour and an album. Plant subsequently moved into Griffin’s Austin home and startled both my son and granddaughter when they knocked on their door on Halloween night trick or treating. My son told me he did not know who lived in the house when they went to the front door and were startled when Plant opened the door, warmly greeted the two of them and dropped candy into his daughter’s basket. (That Griffin-Plant relationship has since ended.)

Mavis Staples will be performing as well
Staples, of course, is a blues/gospel/civil rights activist icon, perhaps best known for her work with The Staple Singers ("I’ll Take You There," "Respect Yourself"). VH1 named her one of the 100 Greatest Women of Rock ‘n’ Roll and Rolling Stone called her one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. In 2011, she collaborated with Wilco leader Jeff Tweedy on an album, You Are Not Alone, that won a Grammy and she and Tweedy teamed up again in 2014 for the Grammy nominated One True Vine.

The Dallas concert will be a reunion of sorts for these two great singers. In 2009 Griffin and Staples collaborated on the song "Waiting for My Child to Come Home," featured on the compilation album Oh Happy Day: An All-Star Music Celebration. I’m thinking you will hear them sing that song together on Nov. 13.

That collaboration led Griffin to record a gospel album, Downtown Church, that was actually recorded at the Downtown Presbyterian Church in Nashville and was released in January 2010.

Ah, yes, this promises to be a great show. I am so sorry I’m going to miss it.

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