Music Review: Nanci Griffith’s ‘Intersection’

Intersection by Nanci Griffith

Many of Nanci Griffith’s previous recorded high points have been cover versions (notably, her pair of Other Voices collections). But her new album, Intersection, is mostly self-penned and highly personal. It’s also one of her best.

An accompanying press release says the CD focuses largely on “familial relationships, breakups, being at a personal crossroads, great difficulties of a personal nature…” which made me expect something akin to Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks. It’s not quite on a par with that, but there are some heartbreakers here, such as “Bad Seed,” a song about her poor relationship with her father. There’s also some political material, though some of it is easy to miss. (Without the press release, I never would have figured out that “Hell No (I’m Not Alright)” is an ode to the Occupy Wall Street Movement.)

There are a few misses—“Stranded in the High Ground” is plodding at best—but winners far outnumber losers on this collection. Such ballads and mid-tempo numbers as “Just Another Morning Here,” “Waiting on a Dark Eyed Gal” (by the late Ron Davies) “If I Could Only Fly” (by the late Blaze Foley) and the title track are moving statements of hard times and resilience. Throughout, Griffith’s voice is a glorious instrument.

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