Patty Griffin – Rocky Mountain Folks Fest, CO

It was a wet day to be a Festivarian.

A very wet, very cold and very muddy day.

After nearly three months with hardly any rain, the skies opened up and a downpour ensued. It’s still raining now.

But, the dedicated donned rain suits and tarps and trekked to the Planet Bluegrass Ranch in Lyons, CO to see the first day of the three-day folks festival. The second to last act of the night was Patty Griffin.

She was introduced in the usual Folk Festival poetic sort of way before going right into:

Hang On St. Christopher (Tom Waits)
During the beginning of which she said “It’s so great to be here, I love this festival!”

“It’s so great to be here, back here in this beautiful place with you beautiful people, toughing it out in the rain. Wonderful to be here, we’ll try to warm you up a bit.”

Love Throw

“Thank you so much! I usually come here with my old friend Doug Lancio but he’s got other things he’s doing this summer. I got this brand new band, well, collection of people, some old faces, some new. I wanna tell you who they are. You might remember Frank Swart, some of you from some gigs last summer and a long time ago. Up on upright bass from Nashville, Tenn., the wonderful Frank Swart. Back there on the drums from Austin, Texas my home town is the fabulous Michael Longoria we have this new character over here playing the piano and accordion from Milan, Italy originally, or thereabouts, that region, now from my home town of Austin, Texas, Stefano Intelisano. (she picked up her guitar to start another song) Uh oh, it’s the wrong guitar, that’s why it’s not working. Shoot! Well, that’s why I couldn’t play that song, that’s why it didn’t sound right. Speaking of hometowns, this is a song about my home town, about a guy, a Native American fellow and everybody called him ‘Chief.'”


“Thank you so much! This one’s for you guys. There all for you guys, but this one’s especially for you guys.”


“Wow! You guys are a lively bunch, it’s much appreciated! Well, I been kinda hanging around the house more than usual this year, writing some songs and I thought I’d play one straight off the presses for ya if that’s alright. Oh, um, I live in Texas and it’s about, we’ve had 45 days of over 100 degree weather and they gave me these really beautiful wool socks. I wish I had a pair for all of you people, but I’m gonna donate these to you Coloradoans. Here’s your wool socks, they’re very good socks. I will never wear these. Oh! It didn’t go very far, I have a really weak throwing arm, sorry about that.”

New Song
“I don’t know nothing about tomorrows, never did, don’t expect I’ll ever know, but I want to remember you that way, wherever, wherever I go…”

“Well, I heard a couple of people wearing some trash bags requested this song and I figured by merit of wearing trash bags you should have your own song. So this is for you, all of you people wearing trash bags tonight. This is your song. And the band doesn’t know this is happening yet, so heads up!”

Long Ride Home

She “took a moment to tune up here” and asked “how’s everyone doing out there? We’re just getting started for the weekend, it’s Friday night.”

Go Now

“Aren’t they great? We’re gonna try to keep you guys moving a little bit. Keep you warm. Oh, I got it, I remember it now. Sorry, I’m a little rusty!”

Truth #2

“That’s what you call Italian Cajun! That’s pretty good stuff.

“I wrote this song many, many years ago and it got recorded for an album and arranged in this beautiful way that was nothing like I wrote it and I can’t play it on the guitar that way so I just never played if for years. I decided I’d go back to being able to play it on guitar so it might be a little different, if you know this song, a little different thank you’re used to hearing it.”

During which she had a false start, “I think I’m playing it wrong. I’m so sorry. I’ve been home, I don’t know what I’ve been doing but I haven’t been practicing this song obviously! Please bear with me! I think it’s too late, should I keep going? Should I start again? OK, I’ll do that. I think maybe I should tune, that might make me feel more comfortable. This is professional show business ladies and gentlemen, you’re witnessing it right here at this very moment. Never forget what you’ve seen here tonight. No, on second thought, please forget you just saw that. Could I have just a little bit more guitar on the monitors? I got it.”

“I think I better put these down (the guitars) I think they’re dangerous! This is an old song from the beautiful Caribbean. It’s a little Spanish number for you. Mr. Music? This is the Italian version of the Caribbean song. We have to find our charts.”

Mil Besos

“I love my band! Thank God you’re here!”

“It’s almost a full moon tonight,” she said before adding that you couldn’t really tell due to the rain. “You can kinda feel it though, you guys have that full moon kinda feeling, which is a very good thing.”

Be Careful

“Thank you, Stefan Intelisano!”

Stay On The Ride

“Well, I just want to say what an amazing treat this has been for me to play for you guys I don’t know, I you’re freezing your butts off but you know it’s just incredible to look out and see you all hanging in there. But Amos is coming out and it’s gonna be great. It’s such an honor to be here, I know a few of these people, Dar Williams and Josh Ritter and Amos, great, great day of music for you. I hope you have wonderful weekend and thanks so much for listening to my show. This is uh, we’re gonna leave you with this one and we’ll see you next time around in Colorado. Thanks so much!”

No Bad News

“What a wonderful audience, thank you!”

Once she came back out she said, “Man, you guys are wonderful! What a great, great audience. We’re gonna be real quick about this one, we know it’s cold and you want to get on to the next show. We’re gonna leave you with this song it was inspired by a great American, the speech of a great American.”

Up To The Mountain

“Enjoy your weekend, it’s been a great, great honor.”

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Photos by Nichole Wagner

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