11 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Stepping out of her usual folk-country mode, Nanci Griffith goes uptown for elegant readings of smoldering pop ballads on Ruby’s Torch. In place of twanging acoustic instrumentation, the veteran singer/songwriter surrounds herself with gossamer string arrangements along with tasteful woodwinds and keyboards. If the surroundings are unfamiliar, Griffith seems comfortable applying her emotive vocal style to these fine-crafted meditations on love and longing. A trio of Tom Waits compositions —“Ruby’s Arms,” “Please Call Me, Baby” and “Grapefruit Moon” — receives a warm and sympathetic treatment. Griffith dips back into her own catalogue for the yearning “Brave Companion of the Road” and the confessional “Late Night Grande Hotel.” “Never Be the Sun,” a Donal MacDonagh Long composition, adds a mystically uplifting note to this largely downbeat collection. If there’s a true surprise on Ruby’s Torch, it’s the sensitive interpretation of the Frank Sinatra signature tune “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Stepping out of her usual folk-country mode, Nanci Griffith goes uptown for elegant readings of smoldering pop ballads on Ruby’s Torch. In place of twanging acoustic instrumentation, the veteran singer/songwriter surrounds herself with gossamer string arrangements along with tasteful woodwinds and keyboards. If the surroundings are unfamiliar, Griffith seems comfortable applying her emotive vocal style to these fine-crafted meditations on love and longing. A trio of Tom Waits compositions —“Ruby’s Arms,” “Please Call Me, Baby” and “Grapefruit Moon” — receives a warm and sympathetic treatment. Griffith dips back into her own catalogue for the yearning “Brave Companion of the Road” and the confessional “Late Night Grande Hotel.” “Never Be the Sun,” a Donal MacDonagh Long composition, adds a mystically uplifting note to this largely downbeat collection. If there’s a true surprise on Ruby’s Torch, it’s the sensitive interpretation of the Frank Sinatra signature tune “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning.”

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