Grace Griffith

Sands of Time

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Fans of the late Eva Cassidy can thank this popular Washington, D.C., folksinger for getting her music to Bill Straw of Blix Street Records, who introduced Cassidy's music to the world posthumously. It seems that in the years before Cassidy's death, she and Griffith had a mutual admiration society happening. The liner notes story wouldn't be enough, of course, to convince the world that Griffith deserves to be more than just a regional legend, and this beautiful, intimate recording serves to further her cause for adult contemporary stardom. Sorry to say that even with Cassidy cohorts Chris Biondo (producer) and Lenny Williams (keyboards) on hand, Griffith's voice, however balanced between the ethereal and the torchy, has nothing on her old friend's. Judged on her own merit, however, it's quite beautiful as she tackles songs by Sam Phillips, Leonard Bernstein, and Lerner & Loewe -- all of which deal with overcoming life's burdens, being there for others, and looking on the bright side. Some, like "Carry You," are simple, dreamy acoustic guitar-based gems, but those with a cool Brazilian lilt ("Summer Estate," "Almost Like Being in Love") are slightly more engaging. There's no reason why this indie release should not elevate her to the fame of one of today's great folksingers, Dar Williams, who she sounds something like. If not, her legend is still secure around her hometown, and anyone who's fallen in love with Cassidy will consider her a friend for that reason alone.

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