Released: August 2013
This is the live album - 22 tracks of concert performances over some three years, all recorded in France. Seven of the tracks feature Marcel 'Frenchie' Dègre on harmonica. Michel 'Coco' Correch plays the double-bass on the final track.
There are 8 original songs, and 14 covers, from the usual suspects.
My thanks to Mathieu Buchholtz, whose fabulous recordings of a June 2010 concert at Le Puits de Jour in Lauzerte inspired me to undertake this project, to Marcel 'Frenchie' Dègre who recorded the other tracks, and to David Gabella, who hosted the Cahors Folk Club for so many years at the Carré d'Art gallery, where many of the recordings were made.
To Love Somebody - The first three tracks were recorded live at Puits de Jour in Lauzerte, SW France by Mathieu Buchholtz in June 2010. I first heard this sung by Nina Simone, and have been singing it ever since.
All Along the Watchtower - A rip-roaring version of Dylan's masterpiece.
Nobody Knows You - I love singing this old blues by Jimmy Cox.
Strangers Once Again - Recorded during a concert at Le Carré d'Art, in Cahors, SW France, in April 2010, this version owes a lot to the soulful harmonica playing of "Frenchie" Dègre. There's a studio version on the Russian Dolls album.
Me and Bobby McGee - One of my favourite Kristoffersen songs, this version was also part of the set recorded by Mathieu Buchholz at Le Puits de Jour in Lauzerte, SW France in June 2010.
Where the Story Starts - This song was penned up on the hill behind my house in France, as the sun slipped over the horizon and the crickets began to still ... There's a studio version on the Russian Dolls album; this live version was recorded at the Cahors Folk Club in 2009.
Deep River Blues - Popularised by Doc Watson, this song was actually written by the Delmore Brothers, whose version the good Doc took years trying to reproduce from the original recording, before discovering that they had used TWO guitars ! This was recorded at the Cahors Folk Club, in SW France, with the irrepressible Frenchie Dègre on harmonica.
The Slipstream of Your Smile - Smiles transform. I wrote this for someone very special; this recording was made at the Cahors Folk Club in 2010. There's a studio version on the Who Knows Where the Time Goes ? album.
Anthem - I first heard this seminal track on Leonard Cohen's 'Live in London' CD, which my daughter gave me for my birthday, and it blew me away. Recorded at Cahors Folk Club in 2010.
San Francisco Bay Blues - A classic ragtime-influenced blues by Jesse Fuller, with Frenchie Dègre on the harmonica.
Children of Circumstance - A song about bravery, about being in the wrong place, about regret ... The studio version is on the Russian Dolls album. This recording comes from a concert I gave in Cahors in 2009.
One Too Many Mornings - One of Bob Dylan's lesser-known early songs. This recording was made at the Cahors Folk Club in 2010.
Deep Inside the Night - This is an early work, which has stayed with me. The song paints a portait of a vulnerable lady looking to the horizon for a better deal. Featured originally on the 'Echoes, Waves or Ricochets' album, this version was recorded live at a concert in Cahors in 2009 with the redoutable Frenchie Dègre on harmonica.
Hallelujah - You can hear the audience join in on the choruses of this immortal classic from Leonard Cohen, captured at the Cahors Folk Club in 2011.
Perfumed Letter Blues - When I was 15, my German girlfriend sent me a letter - perfumed, like all her others - explaining that she wouldn't be writing any more, as her German boyfriend didn't appreciate me. Clearly traumatized, it took me 40 years to write this song about the experience! There's a studio version on the Who Knows Where the Time Goes album.
Who Knows Where the Time Goes ? - This version of Sandy Denny's immortal clasic was recorded at Le Puits de Jour in Lauzerte, SW France by Mathieu Buchholz in June 2010. The studio version is the last track of the Who Knows Where the Time Goes ? album.
Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right - This is the very first song I ever sang in concert, at the tender age of 15. It seemed only fitting to include it in my Live album. This recording was made at the Cahors Folk Club in 2011, with Marcel "Frenchie" Dègre on the harmonica.
Fur Elise - A love-song for a very special person. Featured originally on the 'Echoes, Waves or Ricochets' album, this version was recorded at a concert in Cahors in 2009.
Streets of London - Ralph McTell's moving song about down and outs was originally written about the tramps in the streets of Paris, where he was working cinema-queues at the time he started writing it. This version was recorded at the Cahors Folk Club in 2009.
Feel So Near - My friend Jean-Paul Piquard introduced me to Dougie Maclean, who wrote this beautiful song, which quickly became one of my favourites. This recording was made by Mathieu Buchholz at Le Puits de Jour in Lauzerte, SW France in June 2010.
Last Thing On My Mind - Tom Paxton's classic, recorded by Mathieu Buchholz at Le Puits de Jour in Lauzerte, SW France in June 2010.
Walking the Web - When I was a kid, I always dreamed of having a third eye, with which to record the highlights of each day for subsequent playback. Now we all carry one in our pocket - it's called a cell-phone. And what's more, we can use it to walk the web as we move through our day. The studio version of this one is on the Russian Dolls album.
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 Ballads and Blues:
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