The Patty Griffin/Karl Broadie roadshow is drawing to a close, and the dynamic duo turned on a fantastic last Sydney gig at the Factory in Enmore. I’ll say more about Karl separately, another day, but ooooooh Patty! I was lucky enough to see her at the Basement too, but the Factory gig was the one. More epiphanies than a revival meeting and more joy than a Christmas carol – and not just because she played some of my favourite songs (‘Making Pies’, ‘Useless Desires’, ‘Truth No 2’ as well as her version of Springsteen’s ‘Stolen Car’). Like Karl, Patty looks completely at home on stage and completely happy to be there – so, of course, we’re happy to watch her. It’s rare to see musicians look happy on stage, and I always wonder why – since they love music so much, why aren’t they in bliss? I always thought Ani di Franco was the happiest, but again I say ooooooh Patty. I defy anyone to say that music isn’t a spiritual practice after a night like that.
On a purely technical level: the timbre and her control of her voice is extraordinary. For someone who doesn’t really look like she’s getting deep into the lungs, she has a lot of power. No doubt she could just sing – without any guitar or accompaniment of any sort – and it would still be a transcendent experience for the witnesses.
Hallelujah and hail Patty Griffin.