Ruby's Torch

Ruby's Torch

by Nanci Griffith


9 New & Used Starting at $3.43


Fans of Nanci Griffith, were they not so devoted a lot, might be thrown a bit by Ruby's Torch, an album that wanders far afield from Griffith's exquisitely detailed folk and country recordings. Torch songs, appropriately enough, are the order of the day, and for the first time Griffith doesn't pick up a guitar on one of her recordings. Backed by a 13-piece string section, she assays 11 mid-tempo burners -- but don't write this one off as another standards set. Griffith is just as meticulous in her song selection as you'd expect, including two selections by Tom Waits and two of her own compositions, "Late Night Grande Hotel" and "Brave Companion of the Road." The latter especially demonstrates how idiosyncratic Griffith's vision of the torch song is; she makes no attempt to hide her Austin twang, and the cinematic sizzling drums and breathy saxophone are nowhere to be found. Instead, Griffith takes this long-planned detour to relax into some favorite songs and focus with her trademark intensity on her voice and its connection to the song. Apart from her own songs, perhaps the finest moment here is Donal MacDonough Long's "Never Be the Sun," its acoustic guitar-led arrangement making the most comfortable setting for Griffith's Texas Plains voice; its inspirational tone besting Lee Ann Womack at her own "I Hope You Dance" contest. Her interpretation of "Drops from the Faucet" is a close second, with a completely different feel -- bluesy vocal, muted trumpet -- that nonetheless shows what Nanci Griffith can do with a decidedly urban groove. It's easy listening in the most complimentary fashion.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/14/2006
Label: Rounder / Umgd
UPC: 0011661326521
catalogNumber: 613265

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Nanci Griffith   Primary Artist
Jay Patten   Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Rod McGaha   Trumpet,Soloist
David Angell   Violin
John Catchings   Cello
David Davidson   Viola
Connie Ellisor   Violin
Jim Hoke   Clarinet,Accordion
James Hooker   Organ,Piano,Soloist
Anthony LaMarchina   Cello
Pat McInerney   Percussion,Drums
Larry Paxton   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Sousaphone,Acoustic Bass
Neal Rosengarden   Trumpet
Pamela Sixfin   Violin
Gary VanOsdale   Viola
Mary Kathryn Van Osdale   Violin
Kristin Wilkinson   Conductor
Rick Lonow   Drums
Monisa Angell   Viola
Karen Winkelmann   Violin
Jim Grossjean   Viola
Michael "Mike Dee" Johnson   Acoustic Guitar
Mike Paragone   Overdubs
Sari Reist   Cello
William Sender   Overdubs

Technical Credits

Nanci Griffith   Composer,Liner Notes
Frank Christian   Composer
Tom Waits   Composer
David Mann   Composer
Peter Collins   Producer
Jimmy Webb   Composer
Ronn Huff   Arranger
Randy Goodrum   Composer
Michael Hanna   Arranger
Bob Hilliard   Composer
Larry Paxton   Arranger,Orchestration
Kristin Wilkinson   Arranger,Orchestration
Trina Shoemaker   Engineer
Burt Stein   Management
Donagh Long   Composer
Sang Park   Tracking Assistant
Sandy Mason Theoret   Composer

Customer Reviews

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Ruby's Torch 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This recording was somewhat dissapointing for me. I have come to love Nanci as a singer, but also as a picker and am used to her strummin' the guitar and belting out stories of love, Texas and America. I really miss her guitar-driven sound and overall this album just doesn't do it for me. I don't recommend Ruby's Torch if it will be your first taste of Nanci, but all of her loyal fans will want to add it to their collection.
Guest More than 1 year ago
You HAVE to buy this CD. It's very mellow and very emotional. The arrangements are so rich and beautiful and Nanci's voice has taken on a deeper timber. It gives the songs even more feeling. The first two tracks, In My Dreams and If These Walls Could Speak are two of the most devastatingly beautiful songs I have ever heard, from Nanci Griffith or anyone else. Truly a phenomenal album.