Reviewed by Melanie Haupt, Fri., Nov. 16, 2007
Patty GriffinLive From Artists Den (ATO)
On a frigid February 2007 night, Patty Griffin held a private concert for the Angel Orensanz Foundation in New York City to celebrate the release of her latest LP, Children Running Through. The local singer-songwriter extraordinaire explains in an introductory interview that the converted synagogue, populated with "the ghosts of old New York," is the perfect venue for her new songs. Indeed, the space and the material complement each other perfectly: "Burgundy Shoes" reveals itself not as a maudlin weeper so much as a sentimental love song from a grownup girl to her beloved mother. "No Bad News" showcases Griffin's rollicking side, while her impeccably tight backing band enjoys a percussion-centered party stage right. The performance is interspersed with short, talking-head commentary from Griffin as she justifies performing the smoky Sam Cooke number "Get Yourself Another Fool" and the emotional process of creating and nurturing new songs. The DVD itself is of admirably high quality: shot in high definition and mixed in stereo and 5.1 audio, the picture is clear, and the sound captures every note ascending to the ceiling of the sacred space. It is almost as good as having been there to witness an intimate, powerful performance from one of music's most gifted songwriters.