Tomorrow night, the one and only Patty Griffin will perform at the beautiful Balboa Theatre in downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp District. Let me tell you why this makes my heart happy.
Lately, I’ve been a little disgruntled with the state of affairs for songwriting and original music, especially here in San Diego. Through my freelance social media work with several local music organizations and through my own musical endeavors, I know that the struggle to find an audience is real. I listen to the music being pumped through the speakers at malls and movie theatres and ask myself ‘Why is this a hit song?’ I watch the big televised music awards shows and ask myself ‘Is this really the pinnacle of music? To what am I aspiring?’
And then I am reminded of Patty Griffin, and all is right in the world. The Grammy Award-winning songwriter will be in town promoting her seventh release American Kid. The album is a tribute to her late father and features “a group of remarkably powerful, personal and unpredictable songs arranged and performed in a style that doesn’t entirely repeat anything she’s done on her previous albums while drawing on all of them.”
I was an American kid (about twenty years old) when I first discovered Griffin’s debut record Living With Ghosts. This album spoke to me and I listened good. I soaked up every lyric in every L.A. traffic jam, then sat out on the tiny porch of my very first apartment for hours, picking out Patty’s chords and mimicking her vulnerable vocals until my beer got warm. Every song applied to my experience in some way without trying too hard – the mark of a legit songwriter, in my opinion. This is the kind of music you never let go of. And it gives me hope because it refocuses my dedication on songwriting rather than on the monetization of songs. I don’t necessarily want my music played in malls and movie theatres, only to be barely acknowledged by the short attention span of hurried consumers. I want to play my music live in beautiful historic auditoriums across the world for listeners who can’t wait for the next lyric. This is the career I aspire toward. Thanks for the reminder, Patty.
More info and link for tickets can be found here.