Patty Griffin – Thirsty Ear Music Festival, NM

The Thirsty Ear Festival at Eaves Movie Ranch is a smaller festival, around 2000 people over the weekend, set in a Wild West town.

She came out and said “it’s so nice to be here” but went straight into Truth #2. She said “what a cool group. This is my first gig next to a hanging noose. I’m scared to find out what they do to musicians.”

She sang When It Don’t Come Easy and she kept standing on the heel of her shoe, even though it threw her off balance every single time. She told us that they had just finished making a record, wrapping it up and that they’d like to sing some stuff from that.

She played Stay On The Ride which was done in a much more speaking-style that I remembered, very Bonnie-Raitt-esque. She really got into the bluesy groove, swiveling her hips and stomping her feet. Her monitor gave a series of nasty shrieks to which she wrinkled up her face in a “oooh” disgusted look.

Love Throws A Line was next and then Making Pies which turned into a rowdy sing-along. There was a difference in the way she sang the “pies”, instead of going up, she slid down. She said we were very kind and then started trying to retune.

She kept trying to move the cords over her tuner with her toe, but it wasn’t working. “I can’t see my tuner here. That sounds good. I’m getting used to that mountain air and this guitar is too. I kinda brought my big heavy-weight sunscreen and my cute sundresses and look what happened.” (It was nearly 60 degrees and a little windy, VERY cold.) She continued, “I’m not complaining though, I’ve been in Austin, toaster crispy.”

She was STILL having troubles getting that pesky guitar in tune and Doug kept shaking his head until she got it right. She said, “That sounds ok, Doug stuck with me, man” and went into Long Ride Home. This was another sing-along and someone behind me kept screaming out for her to play Sweet Lorraine.

She ignored the request and played Be Careful and then went right into You Never Get What You Want.

She thanked us again and started another song, but she screwed up, saying, “That’s the wrong way. How’s that go again? I’m nervous!”

She played Time Turned Us Down and then said, “I don’t know how many people can see this but there’s a rainbow over there. It’s kinda cool. I don’t know, you may get that all the time here. Anyway I wrote this one, and it’s gonna be on a friend’s album and it may be on mine too.”

She sang Up To The Mountain.

Then said, “It sure is nice up here. I could get used to this, but you see, me and altitude we’re not good friends. We’re also having a fashion disaster up here, it’s part of my gig. We went to dinner in town last night, and it was amazing. Anywhere you eat in Santa Fe and it’s amazing. But you guys live here so you can contradict me. But we got to see the parade from the restaurant. Did anyone else see that? Did you even know there was a parade? Anyone? (At this point, I raised my hand and she motioned towards me and said) “There, you saw the parade! Anyway, I feel like I should say “you better go get pa. Billy’s in trouble again, he’s down at the sheriffs’ (she motioned to the noose again and the town.)”

She played Mary and then went right into No Bad News. She said, “I love it when I get the sunset part of the show, it’s one of those things when you’re having a crappy day down the road, you can look back and remember it.”


Patty’s set list –
she wrote it on the back of the festival survey

She sang Forgiveness and said thank you and, “We’re gonna do one more song and get outta here so that Dave Alvin can get out here. I wanna see that, I saw him in San Francisco last year, he’s fabulous. I’ve been hanging around the show business too long, ‘fab-u-lous’… thanks for making the traveling and crap worth it.”

She sang while Doug played Moon River but Doug messed up half-way through and made Patty absolutely DIE laughing. She had a few good belly laughs and regained her composure before finishing, pointing to the rainbow. They left the stage and the crowd started the encore cries.

The announcer egged us all on (both the crowd and Patty) and she hustled back up on stage.

She said, “Thank you so much, man, oh man, We couldn’t help but come back and play a rocking song, with the rocking band before us and one after us and we’re not even really a band.”

She started playing and then stopped “except, I got the wrong guitar. Wow, that sounded really bad. Some days you can’t blame the altitude, you’re just dumb. That would have been bad, sometimes too much rocking, rocking in that bad way, that’s not good.”

They played Getting Ready and then said goodnight and take care and left the stage for good.

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