For the third annual Grounded in Music benefit concert, board member Patty Griffin asked friends Scott Miller and Jack Ingram to join her for an evening of tunes to support the local organization that brings musical instruments and instruction to kids at the Boys and Girls Club.
Two groups of students, the real stars of the night, were introduced by Grounded in Music Founder Joe Stallone before performing their original songs they had worked on through the program.
Patty Griffin (who has a new record titled Downtown Church hitting shelves Tuesday) followed, opening her set with Waiting for My Child, a beautiful gospel number that she learned from Mavis Staples.
“I want to say what a great honor it is to have you all here for Grounded in Music and two of my most talented, lovely friends have come out to join us — Scott Miller and Jack Ingram… it’s a great cause and there’s so many things going on in the world and music can’t get lost in the shuffle.”
She followed with the upbeat If I Had My Way, a Reverend Gary Davis tune which will also be on the album and Heavenly Day from her 2007 release, Children Running Through. The stripped down, solo performance was just as beautiful as any of her recorded versions.
“I’m going to do a really fool-hearted thing and play you a new song,” Patty laughed before Get Ready, Marie. “Not very many people have heard this, well some people have after a couple of glasses of wine in their house. I got inspired to write this song after looking at a photograph of some family members taken about 1928 and there’s this roguish, good-looking, young man and his young bride is standing next to him. He has this smile on his face and she looks really terrified. Those were my grandparents, they had this famously crazy marriage, they were Acadian.
“I was thinking about how if my grandmother was born maybe when I was born she might have opted-out of marrying him and just gone to bed with him and gotten it over with. Anyway, it was 1928 or ’29 and there was a serious attraction going on there. It’s written from my grandfather’s point-of-view and it really should be written in French but I don’t do that.” It was nice to have a light-hearted new song included, somewhere along the lines of Our Love Is A Dud and it was met with lots of continued laughter. “You try writing a sexy song about your grandparents!” Patty giggled as it ended.
She played the unreleased I’m Gonna Miss You When You’re Gone and Top Of The World and gushed about Jack Ingram (“We spent many a night drinking beers in Nashville and the next thing I know, he’s a big country star!”) and Scott Miller (“One of the best songwriters living today… in the English language and I don’t speak other languages.”)
Scott joined Patty for Never Grow Old and then took over the stage saying, “If Patty asks me to do anything, I do it immediately.”
He recount his memories of meeting Patty for the first time in Nashville, playing a recent show for his parents, and explained why he hates babies (“They eat up all your money and make your friends disappear.”) between playing I Made a Mess of This Town, A Lie I Believe and Freedom’s A Stranger.
Introducing People Rule he garnered some laughs with his kazoo and story of his “big video deal” with YouTube and then finished his set with Angels Dwell, with Patty on harmonies.
After a short intermission to facilitate bidding on the silent auction, Jack Ingram took the stage with Great Divide and a cute story about his daughter Ava Adele (he said he was going to try to keep with the “kid” theme).
He continued with Make A Wish (Coming Home Again) before he invited Patty back out for What Makes You Say and Seeing Stars, a duet from his latest record.
Wrapping up the show, Jack explained how he had worked up one of his favorite Patty songs a few years back and that they had recently pulled it out for a TV appearance and they treated the audience to When It Don’t Come Easy with the reminder that there are always people who are in need of help.
Waiting for My Child
If I Had My Way
Get Ready Marie
I’m Gonna Miss You When You’re Gone
Top of the World
Never Grow Old (with Scott Miller)
I Made a Mess of This Town
A Lie I Believe
Song for Jack Tymon
Freedom’s A Stranger
Angels Dwell (with Patty Griffin)
Make A Wish (Coming Home Again)
What Makes You Say (with Patty Griffin)
Seeing Stars (with Patty Griffin)
When It Don’t Come Easy (with Patty Griffin)