Griffin’s ninth studio album,Servant of Love—released on her own new imprint label—offers a robust contribution to her American roots music discography. Thirteen diverse offerings explore themes of love and mystery set against the background of everyday life.
Haunting and dark songs of love and loss weave their way through the record. Diverse influences inform her lyrical palette, ranging from the writing of black civil rights activist James Baldwin—whom she discovered on YouTube videos—to the 19th-century transcendentalism of Emerson and Whitman.
These mystical musings are supported by travels through different musical terrains as folk, blues, rock, and jazz strains conspire to reveal a rootsy sonic landscape. A sweet, sad solo trumpet marks several tracks.This record reveals an edgier Griffin. Yet this introspective “servant of love” is able to gaze upon humanity, surviving, according to the title of one of her tracks, as “a rider of days.” (PGM)