Monday, June 14, 2010


     Patty Griffin released her gospel project DOWNTOWN CHURCH on Credential Recordings earlier this year.  It begins with the slow 'House of Gold' that showcases her powerful voice.  The song stresses that having assurance of where your soul is going is more important than having wealth.  Tell that to Wall Street!  Death and what follows it are recurrent themes on the album.  'Move Up' is a rockabilly Elvis style tune that speaks of going to see Jesus and relatives that have gone before.  'Death's Got a Warrant' is super heavy on the percussion and reminds us we can't escape death: "God's got your number/He knows where you live."  Buddy Miller joins Griffin on 'Never Grow Old'.  It talks of how we will praise God forever 'when our work here is done.'  'We Shall all be Reunited' gives us the hope that heaven has no sorrow or separation.
     Griffin shares some Bible stories on DOWNTOWN CHURCH.  This is something oft lacking in CCM songs.  'If I had my Way' is a bluesy song telling the tale of Samson and Delilah.  'The Strange Man' tells both the story of the Samaritan woman who meets Christ at the well, and the story of the woman caught in adultery.  Jesus is the 'Strange Man' because of the countercultural ways he deals with these ladies.  'I Smell a Rat' is the funnest song.  I could hear either Dolly Parton or Christina Aguilera singing it!  It is both fun and accusatory: "You won't tell me where you been/Whiskey running all down your chin." 
     I highly recommend this CD to anyone wanting to hear a truly authentic album by a genuine artist. Visit for more info on her.