Patty Griffin was a relatively later bloomer in the music world. Her first album, 1996’s “Living With Ghosts,” was released when she was 32 years old, but she’s not slowed down since. The Grammy-winning Maine native is back at it with 10th studio album “Servant of Love.”
The dynamite record follows her one-two 2013 punch of “American Kid” — my favorite Griffin release to date — and “Silver Bell,” a “lost” album recorded at the turn of the millennium only to be shelved for more than a decade. “Servant of Love” continues her career-long streak of first-rate records.
Griffin digs deep into folk and roots music on this 11-track release that draws inspiration from the transcendentalism of writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman. As such the same transmigrated soul seems to inhabit each of the characters I these songs. Pretty heady stuff, but fear not: the album is very accessible. In other words, you need not have read “Self-Reliance” or “Leaves of Grass” before giving it a spin.
The haunting title track launches the proceedings, and Griffin scores with “Good and Gone,” personal favorite “Hurt a Little While,” “Everything’s Changed,” “There Isn’t One Way,” “You Never Asked Me” and “Shine a Different Way.” Highly recommended. (Jeffrey Sisk)