(16 November 2002) The second album by Grace Griffith is a ten track collection
entitled Minstrel Song (Blix Street Records (USA), 2000). Elegance in the beauty of movement or expression
and in verb form: To make more attractive by adding ornament, color, etc.
This is the vocal descriptive adjective of the word ‘grace’ – Grace Griffith!
Using the building materials (techniques) of music-imaging, Griffith produces
a distinctive ten-track ‘grace-note’ form of emotion-related music awareness that
cumulates in a vocal nucleus (the audio-aspect) of Contemporary Folk Cantabile
Celtic Beauty, which gives to us (the listener) the final musical (beautiful)
equation Minstrel Song!
In Greek mythology ‘Graces’ were three sisters who were the givers of beauty
and charm but in musicology it is Griffith who ‘Graces’… singing beauty and
charm - into song. Written by Jane Siberry, “Bound By The Beauty” bears
witness to the power of good vocal augmentation. Not just lyrically singing
what the writer said, but emotionally singing, what the writer, did not
“My Life” written by intelligence and heart (Iris Dement) is vocal provocation
for tears. Do not listen twice! It is addidtive musically and leaves the listener
with the sound effect (side-effect) of too much reverberation of thought. In her
rendition of Bruce Cockburn’s “Wondering Where The Lions Are”, Griffith releases
or more appropriately stated, ‘Unleashes’ her voice into a powerful backdrop of
a well-arranged acoustical string instrumental approach. The guitar work (Al
Petteway) is excellent, as is the mandolin work of Marcy Marxer.
In “Searching For The Lambs” (traditional Scottish) it is the playing of the
penny whistle (again, Marcy Marxer) that guides Griffith’s voice into ‘grace’.
It is both Melodically haunting and Griffith(ly) beautiful. The voice - sings for
itself! Combined with the sound-use of good musicians, writers and of course “Kind
Friends and Companions” (the ninth track). Minstrel Song is a musically
brewed ten-track serving that is sung well beyond any suggested writing strength.
It is- ‘gracefully’ good!--Steven Digman
Read further reviews, listen to soundbites and order the
album from amazon.com
here. Clearly worth a journey, the album is a very nice listen!