Patty Griffin

Patty Griffin photo by Michael Wilson

45th Ann Arbor Folk Festival
Saturday, January 29

Benefactor, Platinum, Gold Circle Pre-Sale: Nov 29
Member Pre-Sale: Dec 6–Dec 8
Public Sale: Dec 10


Widely regarded among the best pure songwriters of our era, Patty Griffin started out as a Maine native and a Boston coffeehouse sensation. She headed south to Austin, and her work combines Southern roots sounds and Northeastern poetry. Her elegant lyrics, bluesy alto vocals, and melodic guitar style aim directly at the deepest emotions of her listeners, and top artists on the country and acoustic side—like Emmylou Harris and even Kelly Clarkson—keep close tabs on what she’s up to. Emmylou says, “I would go anywhere, any time, to hear Patty Griffin sing her extraordinary songs.” Patty can rock a bit; she can sing straight gospel (and win a Best Traditional Gospel Grammy for it); she can do the sparest and most minimal kind of folk singer-songwriter performance. But what really distinguishes Patty Griffin is a body of deeply poetic songs, personal in unexpected ways. Patty’s latest album is self-titled. It collects songs written during and in the aftermath of profound personal crisis, several years in which she battled—and ultimately defeated—cancer, just as a similar and equally insidious disease metastasized into the American body politic. As always, Patty’s power lies in how, in the words of writer Holly Gleason, “her songs seem to freeze life and truth in amber.”