Patty Griffin – Thirsty Ear Music Festival, NM

Tucked away near the outskirts of Santa Fe, Eaves Movie Ranch serves as the annual location of the Thirsty Ear Music Festival.

Bringing together music lovers from across the country to listen to a variety of styles, this years line-up included Richard Thompson, Junior Brown, Buckwheat Zydeco and Patty Griffin.

Patty and band hit the stage, about 15 minutes late.

Apparently the rain caused their van to get stuck in the mud (which there was plenty of) when the driver took a wrong turn on the way.

Patty said, “It’s so good to be back here at this festival.”

Hang On St. Christopher

“Thank you!”

Love Throw A Line
which had a very cool ending that I’ve never heard before

“Well, just like last time I was here, there’s rain right behind you and rain right behind me and no rain on you guys. What does that say about you? That’s pretty good, a good sign I mean.”


“It’s so good to be back here at this crazy place, hangman’s noose… I’ve been telling everybody about this gig, it’s so much fun here. Great to be back. I come from a long long ways away from here, I grew up in a place called Old Town, Maine.” Someone said, “That is far away,” to which she said, “It is far away.”

And someone asked, “Does it rain there?” To which she said, “Rain is about all it does in Maine, except for when it’s snowing. There’s a guy in my town that… well, that just don’t want to go into tune here… I’ll be the first to tell you I have the lowest standards of tuning of anyone I know but this won’t work for any of us. I wrote this song about a guy in my hometown and his name was… well… I don’t really know what his name was. The story was that he came back Vietnam and never was right in the head again. He used to just march up and down the streets all day. He was a Penobscot Indian, a Native American fellow and they called him ‘Chief.’ This goes like this.”


There were a few technical issues, Patty asking Michael Ramos, “Man! What is that?” before going into the next bit.

“I haven’t been out of the house too much, I’ve been home in Austin, Texas, that’s where I live, I’ve lived there for over ten years now. I love it there and I’ve been writing some songs and I’m gonna play one you probably haven’t heard before.”

She began and stopped saying, “Let me see, what is that? (Hummed), it’s pretty new. Oh, let’s go up a little step.” She adjusted her capo and declared that to be better before continuing.

New Song
The one about tomorrows

“Well, just about a year ago I got a chance to meet one of my very biggest heroes in the world, in many, many ways, Mavis Staples. I got to go into the studio and sing a song with her and I don’t know what happened to the song but it’s out there, somewhere, in recorded audio land. And anyway, I kinda learned this song from Mavis Staples. It’s called ‘Waiting for my Child.’”

Waiting for my Child

“Here’s an old Lefty Frizzell song for you.”

I Want To Be With You Always

“Thanks so much, a little Lefty Frizzell for you, I love that guy!”

“Well, I should introduce you to these awfully handsome men I’ve got up here. If I were you I’d want to know who they were, especially the ladies. Off to my right, a special guest appearance is being put in by a really old friend of mine, just one of the most talented musicians I know from Austin, Texas, on the accordion and the keyboards today, this is Michael Ramos! On the upright bass, I used to know him back in my Boston days, he should have been a lot nicer to me then because now he has to travel the airports of the world carrying a gigantic upright bass. This is my dear old friend, Frank Swart, currently of Nashville, Tennessee. And this guy, the drum master here, all the way from Austin, Texas, this is the wonderful Michael Longoria!”

Go Now

“We’re gonna take you straight back to hillbilly with this one!”

Truth #2

“We’re gonna take you back to Old Mexico with this next song, Old Mexico (said this time with an accent). Start her on up.”

Mil Besos

Be Careful

during which she sang, “New Mexico night” on the first line

Stay On The Ride

“Oh my goodness! Well, I gotta tell you, I got up this morning at about six o’clock in Sacramento, California and got on a bus, got on a plane, got on another plane, got out here and I’m so happy, I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be today than right here playing this festival. See all your faces and I love coming here, thanks so much for bringing me back. I’ve been bragging you up for days to these guys. Thanks for making it all (something.) I hope we get to come back and see you again. You guys have a great year and we’ll see you again soon.”

No Bad News

“Thank you! I had a beautiful time! Thank you so much!”

She and the guys went off stage and after a few minutes of screaming and applause from the audience they came back out. Patty said, “Wow! Thank you so much!”

Lonely Avenue

“Well, once again I’d like to, you know, one of my favorite gigs in the whole wide world. I love the noose! I love the saloon! Pa, you better go get, better go get Ma, Uncle Jed’s in jail. It makes me happy to be here. Hope we get to come back here real soon and see you guys somewhere. We’re gonna leave you with this one it’s a song that was inspired by the words of Martin Luther King, quite a cool speech and on it’s 45th anniversary. It’s called ‘Up to the Mountain.’”

Up to the Mountain

“Thank you so much, thank you guys for coming out! I think the rain is gone. (Something) and really have a great time.”

Patty, Michael Longoria and Frank

They did a group bow, and then after much chanting and cheering, Patty came back alone for one last song.

“Wow! Thank you! Wow, I’d already started…”

She was interrupted by a number of loud shouts for “Heavenly Day” so she paused.

“Man, oh man, thank you. I’m so blown away. I wanted to do this little song for you here. I just need to remember the words to, I don’t have to play guitar or anything like that. Thanks! Wow! I love this place! Ok, it goes like this.”

New Song
the same one as in Aspen, that she wrote for a college graduation speech

“Thank you so much! See you soon!”

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Photos by Nichole Wagner

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