There’s a light beyond these woods

Like so much music, I think I discovered Nanci Griffith whilst listening to Whispering Bob Harris on BBC Radio 2 in the Nineties.

Her voice, musical storytelling, guitar playing, and melodies instantly appealed to me. I think she’s classified as a folk singer but there was country in the music too. She’s probably the only artist to both sing about Woolworths and feature the store on an album cover!

It’s ultimately futile trying to describe what you like about music because music’s appeal is not rational. It is about what you feel. That feeling can change over time because we change over time. Something that appealed at one age can make you feel differently at another age. So, for example, you might like a song because it transports you to a time and place in your life rather than anything inherit in the song itself. There are songs from the 1980s that now have an appeal to me that they didn’t have at the time.

Even though I still listen to Nanci Griffith, she takes me back to the start of the new millennium, which seems fairly recent but was 21 years ago. It was, for me, the time of the “dotcom” boom. I remember going to several job interviews in one week and being offered jobs by all the companies — such was their desperation to recruit IT staff.

I write all this because I learnt yesterday that Nanci Griffith had passed away at the age of 68. The last album I bought of hers was Clock Without Hands in 2001. But on reading about her, I see she has recorded four more albums since then. So, although she has gone, so much remains.

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