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Nanci Griffith

There's A Light Beyond These Woods – 2002 (Rounder)

Reviewed by Rick Teverbaugh

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CDs by Nanci Griffith

This is a rare opportunity to get a look at artist's maturation into one of the folk genre's icons. Rounder reissued three of Nanci Griffith's early works and listening to the trio in chronological order traces her path from a somewhat timid but expressive singer/songwriter to an artist capable of producing masterpieces.

A reissue of Nanci Griffith's debut finds her engaging in is substantially pure folk. It was a bold venture because all but two of the nine songs were penned by Griffith. The instrumentation is sparse and the arrangements do nothing to get in the way of the songs' messages but also do very little to enhance the listening experience. It was recorded live with no overdubs in four studio dates. Her voice, even back in 1978, was striking and self-assured yet nowhere near the finely-tuned device that it would become in just six short years.