Other Voices, Other Rooms
This near-perfect album has the feel of an event, featuring guest cameos by everyone from the Indigo Girls and John Gorka to Chet Atkins and Arlo Guthrie. Picking favorites among these tracks is difficult, though certain moments seem especially revelatory. Griffith excels at bringing out the poignant desolation of Townes Van Zandt’s “Tecumseh Valley” and the wistful resiliency of Tom Paxton’s “Can’t Help But Wonder Where I’m Bound.” Also outstanding are her versions of Kate Wolf’s “Across the Great Divide” (featuring Emmylou Harris), John Prine’s “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness” (enriched by Prine’s background vocals) and Bob Dylan’s “Boots of Spanish Leather (accented by Dylan’s signature harmonica). While the mood here is more downcast than carefree, spirited readings of Woody Guthrie’s populist ditty “Do-Re-Mi” and Michael Burton’s cowpoke anthem “Night Rider’s Lament” brighten things up. “Wimoweh” closes the album on a joyful, hootenanny-like note. A latter-day folk classic, Other Voices, Other Rooms remains one of Griffith’s best-realized works.