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Passing Through

Grace Griffith

Blix Street 2014

Review by David Bowling

 

That this album actually exists is due to the grit, determination, and spiritual fortitude of Grace Griffith.

Griffith was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease almost 20 years ago and her condition deteriorated with the passage of time. Today she is unable to play the guitar, has problems walking, and has difficulty with her vocal control. She is currently living in an assisted care facility in Washington D.C.

She possesses a wonderful soprano voice and it was her desire to record one more album. Through the help of her friends, a editing process by Chris Biondo, and two years in an out of the recording studio; resulted is the album Passing Through.

The songs she chose for the album are a collection of modern and traditional folk and Celtic songs.

“The Wood Thrush’s Song” places the emphasis on her voice as it is an a capella performances complete with backing vocals. “Nature Boy” is more of the same simple approach as it is her vocal and Richard Miller’s guitar.

During 1981 English poet Sydney Carter wrote “Loud Are The Bells Of Norwich,” which he based on a 14th century prayer by Julian of Norwich. Backed by guitar, upright bass, violin, and cello; she takes the listener on a moving spiritual journey. The traditional “Down By The Sally Gardens,” based on a poem by William Butler Yates, and accompanied only by Sue Richards on the Celtic harp, is an expression of emotion.

The album concludes with the bonus song; “Water, Fire, and Smoke.” it is the only previously released track, which was taken from he solo debut album. Its inclusion brings her music career full circle.

Music moves in many directions and has all types of connections with the listener. The music of Passing Through is an album in which the journey of its creation is just as important as its result.

Rating: ****

 

 

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