Williams, Williams, Jones & Griffin

Sounds like a lawfirm, right?  Well, I checked Lawyersearch just to make sure such a company doesn’t exist.  These are the ladies streaming from my mp3 player lately.  Let’s see, here.  Dar Williams.  Local girl, powerful songwriter.  I just started listening to her stuff.  To those of you who’ve been longtime fans, why didn’t you insist on her a bit more aggressively?  I started off with Mortal City, and when I heard “February” for the first time, I cried.   She’s got a sing-song style, and she definitely has spunk and humor and bit of angst and pathos in her songs.  Lucinda Williams.  A few of her songs from West have been nominated for Grammys.  I have Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.  I really, really really like her blues and funk.  It’s a lot of fun.  I’m trying to absorb this record before moving forward.  She doesn’t have the ethereal quality in her voice that Dar does, nor the piercing clarity Patty does, but boy, her husky voice sure does go with the music she writes.  Norah Jones.  Not Too Late is a solid album.  I actually like it better than her second one, and for me, it rivals Come Away with Me.  However, this last album doesn’t seem to be getting a lot of popular recognition.  It’s a very pleasant record.  It sounds like it was a lot of fun to make.  It’s bluesy, jazzy, even slightly experimental.  Give it a fair shake.  And, of course, Patty Griffin.  Props to her for being nominated for another Grammy. (See Field 14.  You can see the other noms on that page, too.)  This is the third time in her past three albums.  Nickel Creek won when 1,000 Kisses was up, and Warren Zevon won when Impossible Dream earned a nod.  Maybe third time’s a charm.  

Featured Patty lyric:  

You know you’ve done enough when every bone is sore
You know you’ve prayed enough
When you don’t ask any more
You know you’re coming to some kind of understanding
When every dream you’ve dreamed
Has passed and you’re still standing
Mama says God tends to every little skinny sheep
So count your ribs and say your prayers and get to sleep
Nothing is louder to God’s ears than a poor man’s sorrow
Daddy is poor today and he will be poor tomorrow

Hey that’s the poor man’s house
Everybody get a look at the poor man’s house
Everywhere they went before must have turned them out
And now they’re living in a poor man’s house

There’s nothing like poverty to get you into heaven
They got a lot of wine and fish up there
And the bread’s unleavened …

-“Poor Man’s House”

That writing is a big deal.  The meter, the rhyming, the message of the song totally blows me away.  If you don’t have Living with Ghosts.  Get it, give it a first listen.  Then listen to it again.  She’s got some serious soul behind her songs.  This album is easily in my top 15.  Can I make that kind of a list now?  In no particular order?

1. Living with Ghosts, Patty Griffin
2. The Bends, Radiohead
3. Little Earthquakes, Tori Amos
4. Children Running Through, Patty Griffin
5. OK Computer, Radiohead
6. August and Everything After, Counting Crows
7. This Side, Nickel Creek
8. Parachutes, Coldplay
9. Come Away with Me, Norah Jones
10. Mozart Concertos (Clarinet and Flute), Sabine Meyer, clarinet
11. 1,000 Kisses, Patty Griffin
12. Everyone else is doing it, so why can’t we? The Cranberries
13. Room for Squares, John Mayer
14. Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits
15. Our Time in Eden, 10,000 Maniacs

I don’t know if this is entirely accurate.  But it’s what I can come up with for now.  Because I’m sure The Muppet Movie Soundtrack  ranks up there, as well as the greatest hits albums of Def Leppard, Tom Petty, Aerosmith, Dan Fogelberg, as well as a bunch of classical stuff.  Hilary Hahn, Joshua Bell, my Uncle Yo-Yo.  Piano, Clarinet, Orchestral, some opera.  

Gosh, where is the time going?  It’s almost 2008, people.