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.


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