Nanci Griffith

Ruby's Torch (Rounder)

Texas Platters

Nanci Griffith

Ruby's Torch (Rounder)

Throughout her 30-year career, former Austinite Nanci Griffith has shown a masterful touch on heart-tugging ballads. With Ruby's Torch, laments of lost love for late-night cabarets, the longtime Nashvillian goes overboard. Augmenting her Blue Moon Orchestra with string and wind sections, the Folkabilly Queen stirs a couple of her own tunes in with those from Tom Waits, Jimmy Webb, Irish balladeer Donal MacDonagh Long and others. "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning," the one true torch song on the album, stands out, as does Waits' delightful "Grapefruit Moon." One envisions wisps of cigarette smoke against shimmering shafts of light. Some might find this enthralling. Griffith seems set free and able to sing with a rarely displayed gusto. Those that appreciate the range of styles she's capable of, however, are likely to cringe at the overly orchestrated melodrama of it all.

**

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Friday ACL Fest 2018 Record Reviews
Natalie Prass
The Future and the Past (Record Review)

Michael Toland, Oct. 12, 2018

Saturday ACL Fest 2018 Record Reviews
Ruston Kelly
Dying Star (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Oct. 12, 2018

More by Jim Caligiuri
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Her father's death and daughter's birth upped the stakes of the singer's finest work

April 14, 2017

SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Soft Boys, Youngbloods, Moby Grape, Brian Jones’ grandson, etc.

March 18, 2017

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle