March 16, 2007
Volume 35
Issue 11
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Thursday, Oct 01, 2020



the Music Lounge by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A & E Writer
Gay favorite Patty Griffin has a thing for Kurosawa films, eating fresh fish in Seattle, and writing love songs for her dog
I've listened to thousands of love songs. But rarely am I floored by any of them. Such a rare occasion presented itself a month ago. Patty Griffin's gorgeous new ballad "Heavenly Day" brought me to a standstill the first time I played it. And it's been giving me chills ever since. The track, written for a family pet, is the leadoff single from the singer-songwriter's latest recording, Children Running Through. Griffin is one of folk music's most respected artists, collaborating with such musical greats as Emmylou Harris, Buddy Miller, and Shawn Colvin. Her 2002 release, 1000 Kisses, was nominated for a Grammy. Known as an extremely talented live performer, Griffin will delight fans with fresh material and older favorites when she arrives Monday night, March 19, at the Moore Theatre. Tickets are available at the venue's box office. A local connection to Griffin is our very own Dave Matthews, who signed her to his ATO Records label.

The cheery and ever-so-friendly Griffin phoned me directly from her home in Austin, Texas in between preparations for her tour. Here's what the former waitress and telephone company representative reflected on when she settled into "The Music Lounge".

Albert Rodriguez: Is it true you wrote "Heavenly Day" for your dog?

Patty Griffin: I did. She actually just ran outside to sit down with me.

Rodriguez: It's a perfect song for a wedding or commitment ceremony. I suspect you'll be asked to play it at summer weddings, if you haven't already.

Griffin: Not yet. Only, no one is that relaxed on their wedding day (laughs).

Rodriguez: Did Dave Matthews approach you personally to be on his label?

Griffin: I met him at Austin City Limits in 2000. It was Emmylou Harris and guests. He was one of the guests, and I was too with Buddy and Julie Miller. It was really fun. I'd never met him before and didn't really know his music. I was looking for a deal about a year later and he turned up at a gig of mine. We had dinner and I just thought he was a really good guy, so I went for it.

Rodriguez: Maybe he'll buy you dinner when you come to Seattle.

Griffin: I don't know. He's a pretty busy guy. He didn't have his twins then, so I don't see much of him these days.

Rodriguez: Every album has its own journey or inspiration. What's the journey or inspiration for Children Running Through?

Griffin: Usually, before I start writing I think about what I want to sing. And I really had this hankering for more songs that people could dance to. I remember looking out at my audience at the Fillmore, where they don't have seating, and I was wishing I had more things people could move to. I love for the audience to be able to participate more, to be involved and have songs they can learn a little more easily.

Rodriguez: You have a large Gay fan base that is probably equally split between Gay men and women.

Griffin: I think so. I've never been able to determine if there are more women than men. I think it's always been pretty even.

Rodriguez: Have you ever been asked to perform at any special Gay events, like Gay pride or benefit concerts?

Griffin: There was something I was asked to do in Boston a few years ago, but I couldn't do it. I wasn't able to deal with the scheduling of it.

Rodriguez: On your tour bus, are you listening to music or watching DVDs more?

Griffin: I love watching movies. I watch movies on my laptop, if I get all my work done.

Rodriguez: What have you watched recently?

Griffin: I'm an Akira Kurosawa nut. Last night, I watched The Seven Samurai for the fiftieth time. Also, I recently watched an Ella Fitzgerald documentary, which was brilliant and very moving. She's so mysterious, so it was nice to find out a little about her.

Rodriguez: What did you think of Brokeback Mountain?

Griffin: I'm embarrassed to say that I never, ever saw that movie. I think it's on my Netflix list, but it hasn't shown up yet.

Rodriguez: Do you have any favorite new music that you're listening to?

Griffin: I'm very fond of the new Keane record, Under the Iron Sea. That guy's (Tom Chaplin) voice is just beautiful. I'm so happy he's alive and singing. It's as good as Elton John in the day, back in the 70s when he was writing that stuff. That voice is so pristine, beautiful, and British. Also, my local radio station has been playing a lot of live music. I'm noticing how great the young bands are in Austin right now, notably a band called The Jungle Rockers.

Rodriguez: When you see Seattle on your tour itinerary, what comes to mind?

Griffin: I love getting out and walking around there and eating fish. Living here in Texas, we just don't get that fish. I love walking down to the (Pike Place) Market. I just love walking around and I love the light in Seattle. When the sun is out, there's a certain way the light looks there. It doesn't look like anywhere else. It's a very beautiful place.

Rodriguez: We'll gladly trade you fresh fish and a copy of Brokeback Mountain for some great Tex-Mex food or home-cooked barbeque.

Griffin: (laughs) We're not lacking in good food here. Just fresh fish.

Rodriguez: Travel safely to Seattle and watch some good movies along the way.

Griffin: Okay, bye.

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