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Entertainment News

Sunday, 10 August, 2008 8:17 PM

CMA New Artist Spotlight: Jeff Griffith

Photo by David Clements

Arrowhead recording artist Jeff Griffith

By Bob Doerschuk
© 2008 CMA Close Up News Service

It's not just the way Texas native Jeff Griffith sings that evokes the sight of a saloon's name in neon blazing against a night sky or the sweetness of beer puddled on a scuffed dance floor. Even if he was only talking, his boots propped up on a porch fence and a longneck in his hand, the down-home soul in his voice couldn't be missed.

Of course, it's even better to hear Griffith sing. And on all 11 tracks of Griffith's Arrowhead Records' debut album, If It Ain't One Thing It's Another, he evokes his old guard heroes, with producer Joe Stampley capturing every nuance of each performance. Griffith's spiritual kinship to George Jones shines on the barroom lament, "She Reminds Me of You," and the dolorous waltz, "It Was Always So Easy." He can pick up the tempo too, with a Cajun spin on "Fishin' Forever," and a wry humor on "Holed Up in Some Honky Tonk."

Griffith picked the album's songs with an unfailing ear for music that seems woven into the fabric of his life. Raised on a dairy farm, he made his musical debut at 14 in a Houston bar. He's weathered the challenges of marrying at age 17, raising a family and taking over his father's concrete business following his dad's stroke.

Years later, when a friend arranged for him to audition for Stampley, Griffith headed for Nashville, leaving his home state for only the second time in his life. He has been touring steadily since the album was released, with a stopover to perform with Stampley at CMA Music Festival - quite a feat for a humble Texan whose heart stretches as wide as the horizon.

IN HIS OWN WORDS:

BOOK ON YOUR BEDSIDE TABLE

"The Bible."

PET PEEVE

"Lazy people."

SONG YOU WISH YOU WROTE

"'Drinkin' Thing.'"

PHRASE YOU SAY OVER AND OVER

"If it ain't one thing, it's another."

LEGACY

"I hope they say I was a singer that truly loved Country Music."

HOMETOWN

"I was born in Santa Fe, Texas and currently reside in Spring Branch, Texas."

INFLUENCES

"George Jones, Vern Gosdin and Hank Williams Jr."

On the Web: www.jeffgriffith.net

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