Released: Oct 2013
From Paris ragtime to New York jazz, from Dylan to Cohen to Lennon to Griffin.
Atlantic Avenue takes you on a journey - which reflects the journey I took at the time it was recorded. Remarried two years before the album was released, I followed my new American wife across the ocean for six months and gave birth to a whole bunch of new tunes and arrangements. I re-imagined Imagine; I tried to capture the sights, sounds and energy of Manhattan in New York Kaleidoscope, the majestic calm of the sun rising over the Atlantic in the instrumental Beverly Dawn and generally wrote and recorded what was going on in my life in Boston, New York and my beloved France.
My thanks go to acclaimed guitarist Chieli Minnuci (of Special EFX) who plays a sizzling lead guitar solo on New York Kaleidoscope, to the talented Alexis Van Eekhout, who plays some haunting sax on the same tune, and also on Make You Feel My Love, to Michel 'Coco' Correch who plays double-bass on Come On, Rapunzel, Run Like the River and Black, Brown and White, to Anne- Emmanuelle Marie, whose vocal harmonies and recited poem transform Imagine and to Marcel 'Frenchie' Dègre whose brilliant harmonica playing can be heard on Atlantic Avenue, House of the Rising Sun, Come On, Rapunzel, Another Way of Looking and Black, Brown and White.
Make You Feel My Love - Arranged for three acoustic guitars, with a sensational tenor-sax solo from the Belgian horn-player, Alexis Van Eeckhout. Dylan's most romantic ballad, delivered with all the tenderness at my command.
Atlantic Avenue - The first self-penned song on the album is a very spare arrangement. A single guitar, and Frenchie Dêgre's plaintive harmonica accompany the song's poignant narrative.
O to be in Paris! - A jaunty ragtime instrumental, arranged for three guitars and a double-bass.
The House of the Rising Sun - A new take on a very old tune. A bluesy interpretation which avoids the trap of simply reproducing the Animals' iconic version. Apparently, this song goes right back to Elizabethan days, having its origin in a madrigal about a young prostitute in old Londonne towne.
New York Kaleidoscope - A driving song that captures the sights, sounds and energy of Manhattan, featuring Alexis Van Eeckhout's soaring saxophone and a blistering guitar-solo from Chieli Minucci (of 'Special EFX' fame).
Ca me bat - A catchy instrumental. The title is a play on words - translated literally, it means 'It beats me', but say it quickly and it sounds like 'Samba'. The real joke is that the rhythm of the piece is nearer a Bossa than a Samba!
Imagine - A re-imagined approach to Lennon's masterpiece, arranged for guitars, spoken voice and a small choir. Anne-Emmanuelle Marie wrote the text which she recites in the middle of the piece (in French).
Come On, Rapunzel - A raunchy, tongue-in-cheek 12-bar, with " Coco " Correch rattling the double-bass and " Frenchie " Dègre blowing up a storm on the harmonica.
Diane - A tender instrumental for the new love in my life.
Another Way of Looking - A lyrical evocation of that moment of realisation that a long-term relationship is coming to an end. " Frenchie " Dègre's harp-playing has never been more plangent.
Run Like the River - A lyrical reflection on the transience of Life, to an intricate guitar accompaniment, subtly accented by Coco Correch's rhythmic double-bass.
Beverly Dawn - An instrumental improvised in the studio, as the sun rose slowly over the Atlantic Ocean just outside the window.
Suzanne - Cohen's classic, arranged for 2 guitars, liquid electric bass and a choir.
Black, Brown and White - Recorded live at the Cahors Folk Club, this brave and moving Big Bill Broonzy song features " Frenchie " Dègre on harmonica, and " Coco " Correch on double-bass.
A growing number of music sites allow you to stream my songs in their entirety. If you are an Amazon Music subscriber, for example, you can ask Alexa to Stream Michel Griffin music. Spotify offers a service where you can stream my songs for free. Here are links to some of the streaming services where you can play Atlantic Avenue:
This is just a selection. If your favourite streaming platform is not listed above, try going there and searching for Michel Griffin - chances are, my music will be there. And if you want to buy the album, just click on one of the buttons below!
"Respectful of the originals while offering his own take on these true-blue American classics, Michel Griffin's Feel my Love: Bob Dylan's Finest Lovesongs simply stuns." - Skope Magazine
"Michel's voice - all velvet & smoke - brings new life to the familiar lyrics ... with such feeling it'll give you goosebumps."- Music- News.com
"Griffin manages to capture Dylan's spirit and personality, and more generally the feeling of the 1960s folk music scene, through his elegiac, romantic delivery and dexterous acoustic guitar picking."- The Big TakeOver
"I have rarely heard an album that provides such a compelling combination of poetic and musical pleasures." - CD Baby
"The multi-talented Michel Griffin just gets better and better.." - CD Baby
"I can't say enough good about the album Russian Dolls" - CD Baby
˜This is one of those rare albums where the lyrics are as good as the melodies. Griffin combines the dexterity of James Taylor's guitar work with the genius of Bob Dylan's poetry. - CD Baby
Michel weaves his magic like an artist on canvas, with inspired lyrics set to haunting melodies that reach deep into your soul. - CD Baby
˜Michel's talent lies not just in his musical prowess but in the eloquence and poignancy of his lyrics." - CD Baby