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Interview:
Patty Griffin's Learned To Pace Herself
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

Patty Griffin isn’t in a hurry anymore.

The singer-songwriter’s latest album, 2007’s “Children Running Through,” came out three years after its predecessor, “Impossible Dream.” And she’s not hazarding a guess as to when her next release will be ready.

“I don’t write fast anymore,” says Griffin, 43, a Maine native who resides in Austin, Texas. “I think that now that I travel a lot with what I do, I really have to come home and settle down and write.

“And the time that I have to do that seems to go by really fast.”

Nevertheless, Griffin says she likes to “make myself sit down every day and write something” in order to “keep the self-conscious person away, and the cynic away. They’re always lurking in the background, but when you’re writing, you can’t have them around.”

And that’s worked for her; besides populating her six albums, Griffin’s songs have also been recorded by the Dixie Chicks, Emmylou Harris, Bette Midler, Solomon Burke and Jessica Simpson.

“I’m really an introvert,” Griffin says. “I like getting onstage, but being able to make a living off the songs themselves and not having to go out and tour is very liberating. I can do things the way I want and not feel pressured into anything.”

And with longtime friend Harris sharing the bill at Saturday’s closing night of the Ann Arbor Folk Festival, you can bet one of the things Griffin will want to do is a duet or two — or more.

“I’ve known her for years,” Griffin says, adding with understatement that “(Harris) is pretty good at that harmony thing. She knows what she’s doing, and I do love the way our voices sound together. So I’m always thrilled when I can sing with her.”



The 31st Annual Ann Arbor Folk Festival takes place at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday (Jan. 25-26) at Hill Auditorium on the University of Michigan Campus in Ann Arbor. Tonight’s show features Ben Folds, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Shemekia Copeland, Trina Hamilin, Natalia Zukerman, Down the Line and Brian Vander Ark. Saturday’s bill includes Emmylou Harris, Patti Griffi n, Shawn Colvin, Otis Taylor, Kenny White, Jill Jack and Glen Phillips. Jonathan Edwards will emcee both shows. Tickets are sold out. Call (734) 761-1451 or visit www.theark.org.



Web Site: www.theark.org

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