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American Kid is Patty Griffin’s seventh album and her first of new material since 2007. In that time, she won a Grammy for Downtown Church and she joined Robert Plant and the Band of Joy, the same Robert Plant who offers backing vocals on three of the new record’s songs.

American Kid “was written to honor my father,” says Griffin, and as such it is one of her finest, most introspective records. The opening and closing songs, “Go Wherever You Want to Go” and “Gonna Miss You When You’re Gone,” neatly bookend the collection, celebrating life. “God is a wild old dog” she sings elsewhere about an abandoned pet, while also offering a meditation on loss and aging.

While Griffin claims to be “a lapsed Catholic at best,” Christian imagery finds its way into her songwriting. As has become her signature, Griffin writes deeply about abandonment, courage, and love with a directness that is personal and profound. (New West Records)

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