(16 November 2002) The second album by Grace Griffith is a ten track collectionentitled 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 say./p>
“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!