I had a chance to sit in on a short Patty Griffin performance recently as she zipped through Portland showcasing songs from her new album, American Kid. Here are the stories behind several of her new songs. She’ll be at the Crystal Ballroom on June 20, 2013. Concert details below.
Don’t Let Me Die In Florida
A lot of these songs I wrote because I was writing about my life and a lot was going on. One of the things was my dad was beginning to leave this world and go on to the next one. I was getting ready to let him go so I just kind of noticed that a lot of these songs were about him.
“Don’t Let Me Die In Florida” is very specifically about him. I think it’s a direct quote from something he said. He told me one time after coming back from Orlando, Florida after burying his brother to please don’t ever let him die in Florida.
Wild Old Dog
I moved to Texas about sixteen years ago and I became a big fan of long drives because I discovered that I could sing without anybody hearing me — whatever I wanted to. Like, I became George Strait’s best backup singer ever for thirteen hours one time.
On one of these drives between Austin and Nashville I was coming back to Austin and there had been tornado warnings all day long. I was going down the highway, checking in with those little radio stations to see if one was coming my way. I turned the corner to Texarkana, the sun was starting to going down, the light was just beautiful, the air was just kind of sizzling because of all the weather. I looked down the highway into this big tall grass and in the middle of it was a pit bull just shootin’ down the highway like the wind. It was just, wow, beautiful.
Then I realized that the dog was just completely screwed because somebody had dumped it on the highway — which is what people do with their dogs, sadly — when they get done with them. I don’t know, that’s so weird to me. That dog haunted me and I ended up writing “Wild Old Dog.”
Go Wherever You Wanna Go
I wrote “Go Wherever You Wanna Go” after my dad passed away. His name was Lawrence Joseph Griffin and he was a short little curmudgeonly Irishman at the end of things. He was a dear soul and I wrote this for him. ~ Patty Griffin
Patty Griffin Concert in Portland
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Tickets / General Admission / 21+
Doors: 7pm / Show: 8pm