American Kid, Patty Griffin’s seventh album, is her first album of mainly new material since Children Running Through in 2007. In between, she made the Grammy Award-winning Downtown Church (2010), her version of classic gospel (though it featured three original songs). She also became a member of Band of Joy, the group in which leader Robert Plant and his cohorts meld British and American folk, rock and spiritual music.
American Kid, much of which Griffin says “was written to honor my father,” returns to typical Patty Griffin territory, which is to say that it features a group of remarkably powerful, personal and unpredictable songs arranged and performed in a style that doesn’t entirely repeat anything she’s done on her previous albums while drawing on all of them. Yet Griffin’s catalog is among the most unified in modern popular music, because her singing is as unmistakable and inimitable as her songwriting.