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The Loving Kind CD


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Music

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Biography

Nanci Griffith got an early start on her path to performing and songwriting. At the age of 6 she began to write songs, thinking of it as “part of the process of learning how to play guitar.” While she doesn’t remember many of her earliest songs, she does recall that “the first original song my mother commented on…was a song about Timothy Leary.” Then at the ... Read more in Amazon's Nanci Griffith Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (29 Jun 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Rounder (Decca)
  • ASIN: B0027AV5YG
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 106,699 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Loving Kind
2. Money Changes Everything
3. One Of These Days
4. Up Against The Rain
5. Cotton
6. Not Innocent Enough
7. Across America
8. Party Girl
9. Sing
10. Things I Don't Need
11. Still Life
12. Tequila After Midnight
13. Pour Me A Drink

Product Description

Product Description

The Loving Kind finds Nanci Griffith at the top of her game as a songwriter, interpreter, and singer. Featuring nine songs written by Griffith and her collaborators, and four well-chosen covers, the album takes its place alongside the consistently acclaimed work of this Grammy® Award-winning, genre-defying artist. The songs touch on newsworthy issues as well as matters of the heart, capturing life at its most complex. The Loving Kind marks a triumphant return for one of America's most revered singer-songwriters. This is Nanci Griffith’s 19th album and first of all-new material since 2005.

With a recording and touring history that stretches back more than two decades, Griffith has established a "brand". But her signature music is much more about art than commerce, which is why her fan base has remained incredibly loyal--fans include contemporaries such as Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, and Emmy Lou Harris, all of whom have either recorded her songs or insisted she record theirs. The Loving Kind was produced by Pat McInerney and Thomm Jutz and features McInerney on drums and percussion, Jutz on guitar, Matt McKenzie on bass, Barry Walsh on keyboards, Shad Cobb on fiddle and Fats Kaplin on pedal steel guitar, mandolin and fiddle.

BBC Review

From the mid to late 1980s, 'folkabilly' singer/songwriter Nanci Griffith issued an inspired string of albums that have influenced a generation of country and folk artists. However, the Grammy-winning Other Voices, Other Rooms (1993) was her last great one, and she has since battled cancer twice and produced a handful of lacklustre efforts. The Loving Kind isn't a full return to form, but it does sound like her muse is finally on the mend.

It's also fair to say that Ruby's Torch (2006), was a career low point, from which - one hoped - the only way was up. Thankfully, both the strings and jazz/torch song dalliances of that record and Hearts in Mind (2004) have been ditched in favour of arrangements that recall her early work, featuring fiddle, steel guitar, piano and accordion.

In the sleeve notes, Griffith frankly acknowledges: ''During the past few years, I'd lost something in my heart for writing songs'', and harmony vocalist Peter Cooper says he realised part way through the making of The Loving Kind that, ''Nanci Griffith was writing folk songs again''.

That's obvious in the title track, which celebrates the lives of Mildred and Richard Loving, who challenged the ban on interracial marriage in the US just half a century ago. As Griffith succinctly observes, ''They changed the heart of a nation''. She picks up the theme of times a-changin' again in Across America, which rejoices in the 'Obama effect', and on the powerful anti-death penalty anthem Not Innocent Enough, with its magical, instantly recognisable cameo by John Prine.

Of the more autobiographical material, the standout is probably the MORish ballad Things I Don't Need, with brave words for the perennially single, ''True love always seems to fly by me/I wonder if it's one of those things I don't need''.

The inclusion of four covers suggests some padding was needed. Gale Trippsmith's Money Changes Everything and Dee Moeller's Party Girl are the better ones, although the two rather clichéd drinking songs at the close suggest Griffith's artistic recovery is a work in progress. But no-one could call this an ''unnecessary plastic object''. --Jon Lusk

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By The Wolf TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Nov 2009
Format: Audio CD
For those who love her (and I have occasionally counted
myself among them) Ms Griffith is a touchstone.
A consistent, unaffected and authentic songwriter and
performer who has been turning out rock-solid and largely
reliable albums since her 1978 debut 'There's A Light Beyond
These Woods' (can it really, really be that long ?!)

'The Loving Kind' is one of her stronger showings for a while.
(2004's 'Hearts In Mind' didn't rock my boat truth-be-told).
The voice continues to deepen and darken. Layers of experience
unfold throughout this splendid collection of 13 new tracks
(nine of them her own compositions).

There are some minor lapses in attention to detail : a badly
tuned guitar on the otherwise wonderful 'Up Against The Rain';
a deperately out of kilter "harmony vocal" on 'One Of These Days'
but these small flaws are forgivable in the wider context of
the wealth of good music ringing out from the honest heart of
this richly rewarding project.

'Still Life' may well be one of the finest performances
in Ms Griffith's long career. It is a wonderful song.

The title track 'The Loving Kind', too, demonstrates what
this consumate artist has always done so very well - she
can sing a story and make it come vividly alive.
It is a song of powerful principle and pathos.

The small ensemble of musicians surrounding her provide
unobtrusive and sympathetic support throughout.
Listen to Mr Kaplan's pedal steel guitar on 'Across America'
and Mr Cobb's fiddle on 'Cotton' for inspired evidence.

Despite John Prine's strange narrative intervention, 'Not
Innocent Enough' also manages to be one of the recording's
musical and lyrical highlights.

The album is a fine return to form for this most
charming and dependable of singer/songwriters.

Recommended.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Boswell on 22 Jun 2009
Format: Audio CD
Nanci has certainly returned to what she does best with this release. An album of mature, thought provoking tunes all sang in an heartfelt and beautiful way. Though well past her commercial peak this is her best release in a long long time. Nine self composed tracks with four unfamiliar songs by other writers. You get the feeling that a lot of time and effort has gone into this album. Well worth investigating and an essential purchase for her fans.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Angel Delta TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Jun 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It has been said that Nanci Griffith treads a fine line between folk and country. But this, her 19th album in 31 years, is undeniably country and her most countrified since The Last Of The True Believers from 1986.

There are no lush strings which characterised The Dust Bowl Symphony, no Blue Moon Orchestra with whom she has recorded for over 20 years and no long time collaborator on keyboards, James Hooker.

But with Thom Jutz, on electric and acoustic guitar, and Fats Kaplin on fiddle, mandolin and a dominant steel guitar, this is a very accomplished traditional country album with Nanci's voice sounding richer and more mature than ever before.

There is a satisfying feel to this recording as Nanci performs 13 strong country ballads lending a sense of relief that she has returned to her Texas roots and writing, playing and singing music that she really believes in.

Nanci Griffith has never been a commercial artist in any accepted sense but has always, since her earliest days, retained a loyal following of admirers.

They will not be disappointed but neither too will any listener who appreciates the simple honesty of country music performed without pretension.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bungliemutt on 30 Jun 2009
Format: Audio CD
The Loving Kind doesn't so much impress, as recall just how bad some of Nanci Griffith's album releases have been in the last 15 years. TLK is the best original material she has produced since The Flyer back in 1993, although not all of the songs here are self-penned, and there is a somewhat pointless cover of her own 'One Of These Days'. In the main though, this is a definite return to form which underlines just how good Nanci Griffith is when she is on top of her game. 'Not Innocent Enough', 'Across America' and 'Still Life' are the best things here. There is a folky sound which echoes some of her earliest work, and a political edge to some of the songs. There are also strong melodies aplenty with simpler instrumentation that we have grown accustomed to in recent years. This is a strong set of songs, which will be welcomed by long time fans. It probably won't win any new converts, but does give new succour to Nanci Griffith's reputation and bodes well for future releases.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Leslie Wilson on 20 Dec 2009
Format: Audio CD
Its been a while since Nanci released an album of original material , so expectations were high . Overall , its a disappointing album . There are no really stand out , memorable , catchy songs that compare to those on many of her previous releases . The best song is a re-done version of ' One Of These days ' from the ' Little Love Affairs ' album , which in itself indicates the lack of good new songs . James Hooker is greatly missed both as a co-writer , and as a keyboard player . The album lacks real feeling and soul . Too many of the songs are rather ' preachy ' . Social conscience is all very well , but it has to entertain first and foremost .
It also has to be said that Nanci's singing is rather wobbly at times . Not really surprising when you consider the various serious illnesses she has suffered ( and still smoking , the naughty girl ! ) . That wonderful bell like tone and clarity of her distinctive voice is gone . This album is better than
' Clock Without Hands ' , but that's about all . Nanci Griffith is one of my all time favourite artists and songwriters - I never drive back from a gig without being sure to have her albums on my walkman . I'm sure that she WILL make another great album . But this isn't it . God Bless you Nanci .
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