Hope Griffin New Music (S2 | E85)
Poignant Ballads, A Singer-Songwriter to Be Reckoned With
It is no surprise that Hope Griffin is a gifted artist. When you hear her speak of her family and roots… pay attention to the reference to a spontaneous Christmas chorus in the middle of the interview… you can see where she gets the themes for her touching and life-affirming songs. We have Hope Griffin: New Music this week.
I never know what I am going to get each week on this show. And I am always surprised by what I learn from artists like Hope. My hope (pun intended) is that you will love this interview (and next week’s part two) as much as I do. And that you will support Hope on social media, by buying her new collection on iTunes, and maybe even purchase some merch on her website. We owe it to such remarkable people to support their art.
Born in Anchorage, Alaska, Hope Griffin was literally born into music. Surrounded by a musical family, she began singing and performing when she was very young. Hope first got turned onto the idea of writing her own music when she received a guitar at age 17. She attended Carson-Newman University and went on to receive a Bachelors degree in classical voice. It was there that her true flair for songwriting developed. Hope’s drive to perform her original works was launched after winning a songwriters contest in college in 2007. She eventually moved to Asheville, North Carolina where she began introducing her angelic vocals and folky lyrics into the music scene.
Hope quickly began to rise as an Asheville favorite. In 2012, her debut single “Hanging In The Balance” made international radio play.
She was recognized in regional publications such as the Herald-Journal, The Mountain Xpress, and The Daily Times. She appeared on WNC television and began touring all over the Southeast USA. In 2014, in an effort to expand her acoustic sound, she teamed up with NJ-born cellist and Asheville transplant Jamie Leigh Bennett to create a dynamic guitar/cello blend of original sound. In 2016, 2017 & 2018, she consecutively snagged both best “Singer-Songwriter” and best “Acoustic/Folk Band” titles in Western North Carolina through community votes. Together, their combined fusion of her silky vocals and Jamie Leigh’s deep, rich cello lines has made for a listening experience quite unlike any other. Hope’s potent style of ballad writing, as well as the duo’s reputation for playing fresh versions of songs that span through the decades has made them popular amongst a wide range of age groups.
Hope continued to wow audiences and stretch the musical boundaries by switching from soulful ballads to high-energy blues with ease. Her 6 original song EP, entitled “Say What You Will” was released on February 6th, 2015 to a sold-out show at Isis Restaurant & Music Hall in Asheville, NC. Her third song on the album titled “A Fisherman’s Life” was awarded “best song” in WNC in 2016. Each song on the record offered a diverse style and hook worthy of its subject matter, but all were linked with Hope’s angelic voice, catchy beats, and poignant imagery. The album was one that fans of folk music and singer-songwriters had been waiting for since Hope first began mesmerizing her audiences, and was the perfect exhibition of her extraordinary talent.
Riding on the wings of the success of 2015’s album, Hope jumped back in the studio to record a larger project titled “Where the Soil & the Stars Meet”, which was released on October 31st, 2016. As a strong follow-up to her previous release, Hope’s album—her first LP—was as eclectic and as unpredictable of a musical journey as those who fell in love with her debut might have expected. Song after song, Hope defied convention, leading her audience by the hand through honest reflections of true love, a broken heart left devastated, a chance meeting with strangers, to the celebration of a long life well-lived. Constantly blending genres, the very essence of Hope’s trademark style constantly remains: Her lyrical quality of capturing the simplest of life’s moments and rendering them profound reflections on the emotions that unite us all. A haunting and always evolving collection of ballads, “Where the Soil and Stars Meet” peered into the soul of an artist whose fingers remain firmly on the pulse of the curious odyssey in which we all find ourselves.
At the conclusion of 2017 (and just in time for the season), Hope released her latest project “And the Lights Will Shine” – a 6-song collection of holiday tunes. Reflective of her usual folk flair, the EP was well received by all. As expressed by Bill Kopp from the Mountain Xpress: “With ‘And the Lights Will Shine,’ folk/Americana artist Hope Griffin bravely takes on a clutch of holiday classics (adding an original of her own) and creates a fine, distinctive record in the process.”
Since then, Hope has far from slowed down. In 2018, she toured nationally in the Northeast, Midwest, and Northwest regions and released her single “Carousel”, a hauntingly beautiful ballad that garnered much praise from both her local community and abroad. Fresh off the press in 2021, “Lullaby” has been equally if not more impressive, garnering high praise for its melodic cello lines and emotional vocal prowess. She recently jumped back into the studio to record a new EP, set to release in late Spring 2022.
Hope can currently be seen on tour in a variety of combinations, most notably as an Alternative Folk/Americana duo with her cellist Jamie Leigh or her acoustic guitarist/mandolin virtuoso and fellow singer/songwriter Eric Congdon. Her free-spirited personality and ability to tell beautiful stories through song make her a true force to be reckoned with – and a hard excuse to miss.
Hope Griffin New Music
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Wonderful interview, thank you PJ.