Grant Alden’s Field Notes: The Patty Griffin Gospel Hour
My monthly bit of abject self-promotion: The next edition of “Grant Alden’s Field Notes” airs Friday night, July 30, at 7 p.m. EST on WMKY-FM. For various reasons involving lawyers (but not guns) and money, they can’t podcast the show. Which is a pity, from my side of the…microphone.
Anyhow, this show (cut at the end of March, so it’s all a dim memory and an iTunes file now) celebrates Patty Griffin’s terrific Downtown Church album. Because I took money from the label to write a bio for this album, my ethics are compromised. But with or without that financial inducement, I really love most of this record.
The lawyers have also decreed that one can play no more than three works by a given artist in a given show, or something like that (I think it runs to three hours, but since my show is only an hour I work with what I’ve got and move on). So I used Downtown Church as a jumping-off point to explore the traditions she was working within, and the people she was working with.
This show ended up luring me into the world of post-WWII African-American music, and so I’ve spent the following months learning how little I know about a music I thought I was at least conversant in. So now it’s your turn. The setlist, I think, follows. Funny things happen in the studio. I improvise. Run out of time. Change stuff. But this is what my script and the iTunes folder says I played. You’ll have to tune in to find out if I actually did.
1. Patty Griffin, “If I Had My Way”
2. Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet, “Job”
3. The Fairfield Four, “These Bones”
4. Buddy Miller (with the McCrary Sisters), “One Part, Two Part”
5. Mike Farris, “Sit Down Servant”
6. Patty Griffin, “Move Up”
7. Swan Silvertones, “Trouble In My Way”
8. Dorothy Love Coates, “Strange Man”
9. The Soul Stirrers, “Jesus Hits Like The Atom Bomb” (not their best song, perhaps, but you gotta love the title, and I couldn’t resist)
10. Sam Cooke, “Lord Remember Me”
11. Sam Cooke, “I’ll Come Running Back To You”
12. The Staple Singers, “Stand By Me”
13. Big Mama Thornton, “I Smell A Rat” (why has nobody made a movie about her life, or, if they have, why don’t I know about it; and why doesn’t Queen Latifah go and do that thing?)
14. The Consolers, “Waiting For My Child”
15. The Pilgrim Travelers, “Weary Traveler”
16. Patty Griffin, “Never Grow Old”
Nothing like exposing one’s ignorance in as public a fashion as possible, but, I suppose I’ve been doing that since my first words were published back in the ’70s. So there you have it.