● Sid Griffin now scheduling solo troubadour shows for the first time in three years.
● The Tony Poole-remade version of Sid’s I Tell Her All The Time made the Roots Rock charts in the USA. www.rootsmusicreport.com Does this mean their are too many charts?
To actually hear the track go to www.MySpace.com/sidgriffin but do come back to this website, please!
● Two Sid Griffin interviews, the first is in Shindig magazine. Read Part one & Part two right here.
● The second intervew, in spanish, is in Ruta 66 magazine. Read the interview here.
Sid Griffin displays many chapeaux in his career as a multi-faceted musician, proud author, knowledgeable broadcaster and professional golfer. Or is that professional go-fer? Okay, only the first three hats get anywhere near his noggin, but they all fit snugly. He is also a proud parent and part time journalist as well as a man who makes excellent cheese mushroom omelettes.
An eighth-generation native Kentuckian (on both sides) who currently resides in England, Sid has popped up in literary circles due to the success of his Million Dollar Bash book on Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes as well as the follow up Shelter From The Storm. He has also appeared in music circles due to his bluegrass band the Coal Porters enjoying success after success with their new CD Durango and to his many media appearances, be they via ink or the airwaves. In 2006 ABC’s The Jimmy Kimmel Show had their house band play Sid’s song Jimmy Reed as they went to commercial…our hero was watching that eve and fell off the sofa when he heard the familiar melody struck up. In addition to falling off furniture Griffin has already won a Lifetime Achievement Award in Italy in 2003 (true!), and Sid’s old band the Long Ryders, the legendary founders of alt-country, have released via Prima Records Ltd. a CD entitled Live 2004: State Of Our Reunion and followed it up with a live DVD release from the same tour. Further to all this, Sid is writing songs for the next Coal Porters album right now!
After writing a new radio script about the late great Buddy Holly, Griffin soon found radio was a way forward professionally. His recent stint as Resident Musicologist on BBC Radio Two DJ Mark Radcliffe’s excellent late night show raised his profile and brought The Griffin Insight to an entirely new demographic. Frequently heard on late night BBC Radio, Griffin’s silver-toned vocal chords were heard extensively when the BBC broadcast Mark Lamarr’s four-part series Redneck Music in early 2008. (Griffin was not the Redneck in question.)
As a musician, Griffin continues to perform on bluegrass mandolin with his acoustic Coal Porters ensemble. The Coal Porters have played festivals in many places around the world including, for example, Glastonbury in the UK to the World Of Bluegrass festival in Kentucky USA. He looks forward to 2011 with the hope his old rock band The Long Ryders will perform once again. Having at long last completed the editing of the DVD release of the Live 2004: State Of Our Reunion concert, Griffin was thrilled to discover and include several Extras on this now released DVD of the Long Ryders performing live in 1985 in Manchester (filmed by a fan who had one of the very first mini-cams) as well as footage of the guys goofing around in the A&M Studios in Hollywood in autumn 1986.
And yes, in between all of this activity Sid Griffin still performs the occasional, and very special, solo troubadour show. Lately his solo appearances are in support of either of his Dylan books wherein Griffin speaks about Dylan’s career and then sings a verse and chorus of a particular Dylan selection in order to best illustrate the story. This very act toured the east coast of his native USA in 2008.
The Coal Porters have contributed Esther Mae Griffin’s Butterfly Hearts to a charity CD called Doing It For The Kids ’08: A Compilation For Yorkhill Children’s Foundation available via www.yorkhillchildrensfoundation.org and have also given their own version of Something About England to a tribute album of The Clash’s great Sandinista! record called The Sandinista Project: A Tribute To The Clash. Both are available via the usual on-line outlets!
Griffin’s “country & eastern” act Western Electric is somewhat dormant yet periodically regroups to record selections for compilation albums such as So You’ve Got A Lover for Five Way Street: A Tribute To The Buffalo Springfield. Dave Morgan and Sid rehearsed some new material in 2009 for a second Western Electric album but plans for a complete reunion fell through when Dave saddled up to ride off with the newly reformed Rockingbirds.
The DVD release on Warner Bros/Rhino of the BBC TV special which Griffin co-wrote and researched entitled Gram Parsons, Fallen Angel has proven to be a great success as was his book Bluegrass Guitar: Know The Players, Play The Music. ( Backbeat , UK ) Sid of course has two books on Bob Dylan; one one The Basement Tapes called Million Dollar Bash, and the other on the Rolling Thunder Revue era Bob called Shelter From The Storm. Both are published in the USA and UK by Jawbone.
Mr. Griffin continues to support global warming research and all cancer charities. His sister is deeply involved in Hurricane Katrina home building in New Orleans so anyone interested check out www.habitatforhumanity.org.uk or for that matter www.wateraid.org
Griffin believes global warming is our greatest challenge and recycles while striving to reduce his own carbon footprint.
As a documentary scriptwriter for BBC Radio Two, Sid Griffin had two of his scripts broadcast in 2006, the first on Gram Parsons and the second on the Carter Family, this latter narrated by Dolly Parton. He contributed to several others and completed a Buddy Holly script for the 50th anniversary of Buddy Holly’s tragic death which the BBC is currently thinking of expanding into more than a radio documentary.
As a freelance journalist Griffin is a regular contributor to Mojo, Fritz Lang Review, Gaslight, Rock ‘n’ Reel, Baseball Maniac, Skyway and Country Music International. He has been published in The Guardian, Music Week, Variety, Cash Box, New Musical Express, the L.A. Weekly, BAM and Melody Maker. Sid was a regular contributor to Q magazine but they shifted their editorial emphasis to a younger, more dance oriented audience which caused Mr. Griffin to take his laptop elsewhere. Yet Q still gives the Coal Porters great reviews so all is well.
Sid’s second book, Bluegrass Guitar: Know The Players, Know The Music, was published by BackBeat Books with an accompanying CD which features Sid’s bluegrass Coal Porters performing songs alongside ex- Jerry Garcia sideman, guitar whiz Eric Thompson.
An acknowledged expert on the musical career of Gram Parsons, Sid’s first book Gram Parsons – A Music Biography (Sierra Books) is still in print and it would be nice if the publisher paid him his royalties one day. He has contributed sleeve notes to a great many CD reissues by Gram Parsons and The Flying Burrito Bros, The Byrds and Gene Clark. Sid has also compiled and written sleeve notes for reissues by Long John Baldry, Mike Nesmith, Arthur Lee’s Love, Joe Ely, Dolly Parton, the International Submarine Band, Steve Young, Tim Hardin, The Everly Brothers, Phil Ochs, Iggy Pop, Nils Lofgren, his heroes Bill Monroe & the Bluegrass Boys, his friend the late Ronnie Lane, Hank Williams, Glen Campbell and for various compilations including Beating Up The Campus, Fallen Angels: An Alt-Country Sampler and Okay, So We Lost: Songs Of The Confederacy, Vol. Five.
Prima Records has compiled, archived and reissued five albums of Sid’s 1980′s band, the Long Ryders. A sixth CD was released in October 2007, Live 2004: State Of Our Reunion and a seventh, an expanded Native Sons with extra tracks, is planned for January 2001 release. The Long Ryders are considered to be the founding fathers of today’s alt-country movement (take that, Jason!) and they toured for the first time in seventeen years when they performed in Europe that summer of 2004. The Prima release of The Best Of The Long Ryders (SID016) is the label’s best selling CD.
February 2004 witnessed the release of the first “new” Long Ryders material in sixteen years with the well-received CD Three Minute Warnings: The Long Ryders Live In New York City on Prima Records.