It's a big week for news about fresh records from Grammy-winning Austin acts. Hot on the heels of Thursday's announcement about the March 1 release of Gary Clark Jr.'s "This Land" comes word that Patty Griffin will release a self-titled album on March 8.
Griffin recorded the album mostly at her Austin home, co-producing with guitarist Craig Ross and drawing upon primarily local players including guitarist David Pulkingham, cellist Lindsey Verrill, drummer Conrad Choucroun and pianist Stephen Barber. Of special note: Her close friend Robert Plant contributes backing vocals on two cuts.
An audio track for the album's second song, "River," went up Friday on YouTube. Check it out here:
In a statement announcing the record, Griffin said the song's first line — "Isn't she a river?" — "just kind of came out and the rest sort of followed. Sometimes songs are like that. I wasn't really reaching for anything intentionally; just playing some chords with a feeling inside, and there you go."
The press release also noted that the new album "collects songs written during and in the aftermath of profound personal crisis, several years in which she battled — and ultimately defeated — cancer just as a similar and equally insidious disease metastasized into the American body politic."
Griffin's last album, 2015's "Servant of Love," was nominated for a Best Folk Album Grammy. Her 2010 album "Downtown Church" won a Grammy for Best Traditional Gospel Album.
An initial list of tour dates includes a Feb. 28 pre-release show in Los Angeles, followed by 19 dates in the U.S. and Canada from March 26 to April 20. No Austin dates are listed, but the mostly wide-open March leaves open the possibility that she might be part of South by Southwest this year.