Ohio - Patty Griffin

from the album American Kid (2013)

Meet me in the evening where the river is low
Meet me on the waters of the Ohio

These first lines open the song Ohio by Patty Griffin.  She is an incredibly gifted singer-songwriter who's breadth expands from playing folk in Boston coffee houses to winning a 2011 Grammy award for Best Traditional Gospel Album for her splendid record Downtown Church.

For me, Ohio exists on an almost mystical plain that is created with amazing craftsmanship.  Do yourself a favor and listen to this song three or four times in a row.  Each time, listen to a different element.  You won't be disappointed.

Focus on the guitars first.  Listen to the two guitars play the introduction.  Listen to the flanged effect that creates the mystic vibe.  Listen to the occasional hard plucked string.  Listen to the guitar runs that sound like water in a springtime brook.  Listen to the use of harmonics.  It is all amazing.

Next listen, check out the lead vocal by Patty Griffin.  Listen to her range.  Listen to how her voice effortlessly shifts across her register.  Listen to the intonation, with its warm texture that also evokes a distance that I equate with places like Wyoming.

Then listen to the backing vocals that expertly compliment the lead.  They lay back and provide a foundation to appreciate Patty Griffin's vocals.  They also provide a texture that plays magnificently off of the guitars.  If it sounds oddly familiar, it should.  It is Patty Griffin's husband, Robert Plant.  Yup, that Robert Plant.

Then listen to the almost subliminal drum.  Listen to the quality of the recording.  Just listen to everything.  It is great stuff.

Click Here to watch the music video for Ohio.