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Nanci Griffith

Grammy-award winning singer Nanci Griffith is equal parts crooning country vocalist and insightful folk songwriter, a style she describes as “folkabilly”. Griffith grew up in a musical family and was involved with music from a young age. She started performing in her hometown of Austin, Texas at 14 and never stopped. She released her first album There’s a Light Beyond These Woods in 1977 and has since worked and toured with a number of respected artists, including Emmylou Harris, Jimmy Buffett, Iris DeMent and Willie Nelson.

Griffith’s tenth album, Other Voices, Other Rooms, won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Recording in 1994 and Griffith has released another ten albums since, including 2012’s Intersection. Intersection was recorded in Griffith’s home studio and is a “continuation of her usual blend of politics, emotion and a dusting of rebellion”, according to a New York Times review. The scathing emotion of Intersection proves that this vocal star is nowhere near ready to slow down.

In 1992, Virginia native Pete Kennedy was playing a solo show at Austin’s Continental Club on a brief sabbatical from his duties as country-folk singer-songwriter Nanci Griffith’s lead guitarist when he met former Syracuse, NY, resident Maura Boudreau, enjoying a night off from performing with her own country-rock band, The Delta Rays. The duo “instantly connected on a soul level, or maybe even something deeper,” according to Pete.

When Griffith needed a harmony singer to replace Iris Dement on short notice for a British tour in Spring ’93, Maura was the obvious choice, and her touring life alongside Pete began. While boarding the plane to England, Nanci informed the duo that they would serve as the opening act for many of the shows on her tour, as well as performing in her backing band. With a need for material to fill their set, Pete and Maura wrote an inspired set of songs in Dublin that would become the basis for their first album, 1995’s River of Fallen Stars, which earned an “Indie” award as “Best Adult Contemporary CD” by the National Association of Independent Record Distributors. The duo have enjoyed a successful recording and performing career under their own name, and maintain their wonderful relationship with Griffith as well.

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