Nanci Griffith: Love at the Five and Dime
I suppose you could call this post cheating on my part. After all, Nanci Griffith released the original studio version of Love at the Five and Dime in 1985, not 1988. On that version, there is a full band, but the production is handled with a light touch that puts the focus where it belongs, on Griffith and on a song which has arguably become a standard. But this is the live version, from 1988’s One Fair Summer Evening, and this performance is something special. It’s just Griffith and her guitar for the most part, and that’s all that is needed. Griffith has the rare gift of being sweetly sentimental without ever being cloying. Here, she lays down a pattern on the guitar, and does a spoken introduction to the song over that pattern. The intro is almost two and a half minutes long, and it is a wonderful monologue that is almost worth the price of admission by itself. After hearing this, I would be happy to attend a performance by Griffith just to hear her talk. But, of course, the song is great too. I don’t want to give anything away if you have never heard this, but I really think someone should call a band Unnecessary Plastic Objects.
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