Album: Patty Griffin, American Kid (Columbia)

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The Independent Culture

Robert Plant's sometime Band of Joy side-woman.

The album takes thematic colour from the impending death of the singer's father, but expands to embrace a wide-ranging but detailed vision of American historicity. It's not short of ambition, yet modestly so, some of the (excellent) writing reaching the ear via arrangements raw as sackcloth. Cody and Luther Dickinson and Doug Lancio twang manfully in support of Griffin's sad flag of a voice. A compelling experience.