When I worked for Our Price, the entertainment retail chain that was 'Mad About Music' in the '80s, I had the misfortune of working with a supervisor who loved nothing more than hogging the deck with country singers, particularly Randy Travis and Lyle Lovett. I say 'misfortune' because this inspired our boss to play Bob Dylan - a lot. He also played country frequently, which made the day drag on somewhat, making the whole experience like some sort of hick 'n' dustbowl soundclash.
However, after regular exposure to it and growing up a little, I started to appreciate the more traditional side to roots music, citing Nanci Griffith as one of the key converters at this time. Blessed with a sweet, almost shrill and childlike voice, Griffith steered herself through a multitude of styles, fusing trad-folk, Americana (before the phrase was dreamt up) and balladry. Her breakthrough 1987 album, "Lone Star State of Mind", spawned what could possibly have been her most familiar (and lucrative) moment, "From a Distance", written by Julie Gold. However, she was beaten to the big-time by actress Bette Midler, a few years later, who turned the song into a global hit. Such is life.
Griffith has continued to notch-up hit albums, in fact almost as many in the UK as her US homeland, which has probably prompted her announcement of a tour of these shores next spring!
After a string of Irish dates (starting in Drogheda on 27th February and finishing in Dublin on 8th March), Griffith will head over to the UK for shows in Glasgow, Birmingham, Shepherd's Bush, Bristol, Milton Keynes, Swansea, Bexhill and finally York on the 23rd. Tickets typically cost £26.50/ £27.50, with London costing £29, but Bexhill costing just £20 and Swansea £23.50. We will have tickets for all of the UK dates from 9am on Friday (Bexhill is Thursday).
Apart from her London Feis appearance in the summer, these are first headline shows since early 2010, with some of the venues new to her touring radar!