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Dust Bowl Symphony
Nanci Griffith
Dust Bowl Symphony
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1

Important artists have grand ambitions, but the best of them recognize the importance of not letting their majestic aspirations get the better of them. A couple of decades into an illustrious career that's seen her success...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Nanci Griffith
Title: Dust Bowl Symphony
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 1
Label: Elektra / Wea
Original Release Date: 9/14/1999
Release Date: 9/14/1999
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop
Styles: Outlaw Country, Classic Country, Today's Country, Traditional Folk, Contemporary Folk, Singer-Songwriters
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 075596241823, 755962418232

Important artists have grand ambitions, but the best of them recognize the importance of not letting their majestic aspirations get the better of them. A couple of decades into an illustrious career that's seen her successfully stray from her folk roots into country and pop, Nanci Griffith tries to scale symphonic heights with The Dust Bowl Symphony, only to take an awkward tumble. The Dust Bowl Symphony finds the Lone Star soprano renovating some of her most popular tunes with backing by her regular unit, the Blue Moon Orchestra, as well as the London Symphony Orchestra. But extravagant arrangements smother these songs; it's hard not to listen to the likes of "It's a Hard Life (Wherever You Go)" and "Late Night Grande Hotel" and not long to hear the life-sized originals. --Steven Stolder

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CD Reviews

Not a "must have," but fun.
H. Johnson | Bella Vista, CA USA | 05/15/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I bought "The Dust Bowl Symphony" out of curiosity, not because of any burning desire to hear Ms. Griffith accompanied by an orchestra. My favorite memory of Nanci Griffith will always be from the night I discovered her at a concert in the mid-eighties: She opened for John Prine, and stepped out with only her guitar. I was floored by her talent, and became an instant fan.Perhaps because I discovered Nanci during a solo tour, my favorite recording of hers by far has always been "One Fair Summer Evening," a live recording in which the musical accompaniment consisted only of her guitar and the keyboards of the rock-solid James Hooker. While I've always enjoyed her studio efforts, by comparison the results have always seemed overproduced to varying degrees.Thus, when I brought "The Dust Bowl Symphony" home, I was predisposed to agree with Steven Solder's review: I was convinced that Ms. Griffith's splendid voice would be "smothered" in the orchestral arrangement. I was pleasantly surprised, however. The mix is well done, and for the most part, intrudes less on the richness of Nanci's voice than is the case in some previous studio recordings.That said, I wouldn't point to this CD as a "must have" for new Nanci Griffith fans. I'd give the nod to "One Fair Summer Evening" or "Flyer" instead. Still, this recording hardly ranks as an "awkward tumble," as Mr. Stolder maintains. And, since the CD consists largely of re-worked fan favorites, I suspect that most long-time Nanci Griffith followers will find "The Dust Bowl Symphony" enjoyable, and perhaps, pretty doggone fun."
Almost, but not quite.
Fred Waltman | 12/09/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I am a long time Nanci Griffith fan. I really like her voice and her songs. The problem I had with this album is that her voice just does not go well with a full orchestra -- it tends to get lost. It would have been better to have a smaller group -- a chamber orchestra. My other complaint is related -- the vocals didn't have the 'bite' that I'm used to (thats not the right word but I can't think of a better one). Her songs have been about personal trials, triumphs and tribulations. Its like she sings to me personally. You can't get that same feeling when there's another 100 people (the orchestra) in the room.I give it three stars because I still love to listen to her voice. For people not familiar with her music I'd recommend another album.Oh, and the version of 'Its a Hard Life Where Ever You Go' is horrible -- you can't hardly hear it with the drums pounding."
The Best Yet!
Dave Larsen | 02/01/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've been a Nanci Griffith fan ever since the mid-1980s after seeing her on Austin City Limits and then buying her LPs, tapes, and now CDs. Teaming- up with the London Symphony results in a wonderful selection of arrangements that combine the traditional Griffith melodies with the full richness that only an orchestra can create. Nanci, if you ever have so much free time on your hands that you actually read these reviews, my message to you is: Do another "Dustbowl!""