Children Running Through

Children Running Through

While every Patty Griffin album features a variety of styles and approaches, it’s the stark, eerie ballads that never fail to entrance and hypnotize. Children Running Through is no exception. “Stay on the Ride,” “Getting Ready” and  “No Bad News” are the uptempo cowboy boot kickers and they’re tight and exciting, but the moments that truly draw attention are the great quiet spaces where Griffin’s voice is given full stage. The album’s opener “You’ll Remember” begins things with a cathedral-like echo, as a stand-up bass stalks her every move. “Trapeze,” a duet with Emmylou Harris, gently observes the dark human side that savors the failure of others: “one of these nights the old girl’s going down.” Her version of “Up to the Mountain (MLK song),” a track covered by Solomon Burke on his Nashville collection with Griffin providing back-ups, is included here and proves she’s got the gospel pipes to deliver. String arranger and conductor John Mark Palmer effectively shades these songs with touches of cello, violin and viola, creating a cinematic tension to Griffin’s quick portrait of a childhood busride to Bangor (“Burgundy Shoes”) and the self-motivating anthem “I Don’t Ever Give Up.”

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