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Patty Griffin sings to get out the vote
Patty Griffin isn't interested in telling people -- and especially women -- who to vote for.
She just wants them to vote.
Griffin has recruited fellow singer-songwriters Sara Watkins and Anais Mitchell for her current tour as part of a partnership with the League of Women Voters. There are voter registration drives in some of the cities they're playing, but mostly Griffin says the idea is to encourage fans to not only register but also show up at the polls.
"Women are not considered a reliable voting force in this country," the Texas-based Griffin, 51, says by phone while traveling through Vermont. "So few of the eligible women are voting in this country, and within that group the largest number is now single women.
"So I wanted to become involved wtih getting people interested in voting in my own small way. I started off with my main concern being women, but of course I want men to vote as well. As a whole country we can do better. The country's not being represented with the vote as it is now, so we need to get the numbers up."
Don't look for Griffin and her tour mates to make endorsements, however. "We are completely non-partisan," she says. "This is really non-exclusive as far as political parties goes. One of the things we are stressing with this tour is community. One of the most tiresome things about this particular time and period in our government is the last eight year, how irresponsibly split the parties have been from each other.That's not a proper political process. not an ethical political process.
"So I say everybody get more involved. Let's get more women involved and take it from there. We want unity within our communities to happen. No more of this crazy divisiveness."
But Griffin does acknowledge that the prospect of having the first female candidate for president does give the tour's mission a little extra charge -- even if she herself has mixed feelings.
"My feeling, really, is it should have happened about 50 years ago, so I can't feel all grateful and excited about" Hillary Clinton," Griffin says. "It's happened before. We've had Barbara Jordan and Geraldine Ferraro. But women are not given a great amount of attention and validity, politically, so I can't comment on that like it's some momentous occasion, y'know?"
Patty Griffin, Sara Watkins and Anais Mitchell: Together on Stage
8 p.m. Saturday, March 19.
The Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, 44575 Grartiot Road, Clinton Township.
Tickets are $40-$56.
Call 586-286-2222 or visit macombcenter.com.
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