Her latest album, The Loving Kind has been on shelves for a month and she’s got several tour dates scheduled around the country in support of the record.
Just before the album release, Nanci Griffith took some time to answer our questions about her amazing career, her political views and the Patti Smith song she wishes she could cover.
Q: You’ve made nearly 20 albums, are there any that stick out in your mind as favorites?
A: They all do, there’s 18 of them now and they all have their own place in my heart.
Q: Are there any moments of your career that you’d like to forget about?
A: I can’t think of anything. We all have our ups and downs, good days and bad days. Good years, bad years.
Q: After performing for many years, how do you keep from getting bored?
A: Writing. I think that writing and learning new songs. You never sing a song the same way twice, so it’s always fresh.
Q: As an artist do you find it difficult to share your political views without isolating fans?
A: I think they all blend into one, and it just comes down to being who you are.
Q: Can you share the story behind the buttons you wear on your guitar straps?
A: Most of them have been given to me over the years. And the first button I had said “LBJ for the USA” on it and I found it in a flea market many, many years ago.
Q: Your song “Not Innocent Enough” calls for the abolition of the death penalty, what are some of the other causes you support?
Q: What types of songs do you sing around the house when no one else is listening?
A: It varies, it depends on what kind of mood I’m in. I might sit down and listen to classical music or I might put on Patti Smith, it depends on what the day is.
Q: Are there any songs you’ve always wanted to cover but have never had the chance?
A: There’s so many songs, and some of them aren’t right for me or some of them I love to listen to but I don’t… I couldn’t do them justice.
Are there any songs in particular that fall into that category?
A: Yeah, I just mentioned Patti Smith… “People Have the Power.” It’s one of the songs I wish I could do.
Q: How do you go about picking the songs that will go onto a record?
A:They’re songs that touch my heart and turn a little key in me that says, “Gee, I wish I’d written that.”
Q: What do you always take with you on tour?
A: My mind.
Is there anything you always take in your suitcase but never actually use?
A: It happens. There’s a song on the new record called “Things I Don’t Need” and it was inspired by my drummer, he lost his suitcase when we were on tour in Europe and it didn’t come back to us until the end of the tour. He looked at it in Heathrow airport and said, “Gee, there’s a lot of things I didn’t need.”