Various Artists / More Than a Whisper: Celebrating the Music of Nanci Griffith
Album: More Than a Whisper: Celebrating the Music of Nanci Griffith   Collection:Country
Artist:Various Artists   Added:Feb 2024
Label:Rounder Records  

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2024-03-03 Pull Date: 2024-05-05 Charts: Country/Bluegrass
Week Ending: May 5 Apr 28 Apr 21 Apr 7 Mar 31 Mar 10
Airplays: 2 1 2 1 1 2

Recent Airplay
1. Jun 01, 2024: Hanging in the Boneyard
Listen to the Radio
4. May 08, 2024: That's not Bluegrass
Listen to the Radio
2. May 29, 2024: That's not Bluegrass
Outbound Plane
5. May 04, 2024: Music Casserole
Love at the Five & Dime
3. May 15, 2024: That's not Bluegrass
Trouble in the Fields
6. Apr 30, 2024: Traditions
Outbound Plane

Album Review
Be Sharp
Reviewed 2024-02-19

On this tribute album, a mostly all-star group of artists interpret songs of Nanci Griffith who passed away in 2021. Griffith was known for an uncanny ability to tell stories of ordinary lives with insight, empathy, poignancy, and wry humor. In this way, she was like her good friend John Prine. In touching liner notes, Mary Gauthier says Griffith was the equal of Guy, Townes, and other great Texas songwriters.

FCC clean
1 ** slow. Sarah Jarosz puts her soothing alto to this pretty song about leaving town on an outbound train, with acoustic guitar, sad pedal steel, light drums, and a bit of organ. (4:42)
2 * slow. John Prine & Kelsey Waldon pair up. Two young people meet at work; their love survives a lost child, cheating, and many years. It’s lovely and sweet. (4:49)
3 *** mid-tempo. Billy Strings & Molly Tuttle! Terrific picking & gorgeous singing about how country music on the radio can make you feel better. (4:00)
4 mid-tempo. Emmylou has recorded several songs by Griffith; this quirky look back at a couple during WWII isn’t one of her best, despite the Cajun lilt. (3:40)
5 slow. Lyle Lovett sings lead on a sad ballad about love during hard times; Kathy Mattea sings harmony; restrained dobro & mandolin provide a pretty accompaniment. (3:30)
6 * slow. Emmylou did this as a duet with Willie; now Brandy Clark takes it on solo, and she kills it. Production/drums/synth are heavy handed but her singing is very nice. (3:28)
7 * slow. Shawn Colvin does a nice job on another “leaving” song; it’s an airplane this time rather than a train. A thumping bass drives it along and there’s a nice dobro solo. (4:04)
8 slow. Ida Mae, a little known married couple from the UK, try to outdo each other’s gravelly voice. Good resonator guitar but weird inappropriate electronics. (5:05)
9 mid-tempo. Steve Earle compares sectarian & racial division in Northern Ireland and the USA. Irish band including fiddle & pipes accompanies. (4:41)
10 ** slow. Aaron Lee Tasjan plays piano & sings one of Griffith’s signature tunes in a beautiful countertenor. Patty Griffin adds nice harmony vocals. (4:11)
11 mid-fast. foot-tapping outlaw country features Todd Snider’s vocals. (2:40)
12 ** Iris DeMent applies her keening warble to another train song, but this one is bringing a lonely country girl back home. Song, singing, piano & pedal steel are all strong. (4:31)
13 * mid-tempo. Mary Gauthier asks for more genuine passion in this title track. (4:42)
14 Griffith didn’t write this religious appeal for brotherhood, but recorded it several times. The War and Treaty give a big, Gospel tinted cover, closer to Bette’s than Nanci’s. (4:38)

Track Listing
 ArtistTrack Name
1. Sarah Jarosz You Can't Go Home Again
2. John Prine and Kelsey Waldon Love at the Five & Dime
3. Billy Strings and Molly Tuttle Listen to the Radio
4. Emmylou Harris Love Wore a Halo (Back Before the War)
5. Lyle Lovett With Kathy Mattea Trouble in the Fields
6. Brandy Clark Gulf Coast Highway
7. Shawn Colvin Outbound Plane
8. Ida Mae Radio Fragile
9. Steve Earle It's a Hard Life Wherever You Go
10. Aaron Lee Tasjan Late Night Grande Hotel
11. Todd Snider Ford Econoline
12. Iris DeMent Banks of the Pontchartrain
13. Mary Gauthier More Than a Whisper
14. The War and Treaty From a Distance