Texas born and raised, singer/songwriter Nanci Griffith seems made for the sensibility that created the Kerrville Folk Festival. Her songs may sound countrified on the outside, but it's an old-school Country music that celebrated story-telling as much as it did cowboy boots and steel guitars. Embraced by both the Country and Folk worlds, a new album from the Grammy Award-winning Griffith (for 1993's Other Voices, Other Rooms) is cause for excitement. Ruby's Torch, her latest Rounder release, pays homage to the torch songs that were her father’s favorites.
Born near San Antonio, TX, Griffith grew up in Austin – learning to play the guitar from a television program and writing songs because it was easier than learning other people's work. She was "discovered" singing 'round a campfire at Kerrville by singer/songwriter Tom Russell soon after she made her professional debut at 14. In the beginning of her career, she taught elementary school during the day while performing at night, releasing her first album in 1978, earning a national release from Rounder for Once in a Very Blue Moon in 1985. The album title lent its name to Griffith's back-up, the Blue Moon Orchestra. The following year, Griffith released the Grammy-nominated Last of the True Believers, featuring her signature song "Love at the Five and Dime" - a song which would later reach #3 on the Country charts as a Kathy Mattea cover. Griffith's songwriting skill scored again for Suzy Bogguss ("Outbound Plane").
In recent years, Griffith has made numerous journeys to Vietnam and Cambodia, adding her support to ex-husband Eric Taylor and other veterans through the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation (VVAF). She is also active in groups advocating for a landmine free world.