So the funniest thing happened last week. I hung out with Griffin House. Yeah. Like “The Guy Who Says Goodbye To You Is Out Of His Mind” Griffin House. Like all up on my Pandora when I listen to my Head and the Heart station Griffin House. Like the nicest guy ever and trusted me with his iPhone Griffin House. Get the point yet? I really could keep going.
Back story: I was planning on going to his show last Thursday when I procured some tickets from the wonderful ladies at the Arena District. Then I saw this tweet from Griffin:
Gasp!! So I tweeted back:
A series of direct messages ensued (don’t be jealous), and lo and behold, I am the new merch girl for Griffin House. It’s really not a big deal. I didn’t even take pictures.
I’ll spare you the details of how amazingly awesome and down-to-earth and cool he was when he was teaching me how to sell all his goodies (did that sound dirty?).
Anyway. The show. I have to say, it felt like his performance was nothing short of a homecoming for the Nashville-based singer-songwriter. (Did you know he’s originally from Springfield, Ohio? Apparently he was offered a golf scholarship to my alma mater, Ohio University, but he decided to go to Miami University instead. Hey, no one’s perfect.) Backed only by his guitar and harmonica, House wooed the Downtown Columbus crowd with his melodic treats and some surprises off of his upcoming album “Balls.”
He told me that his album “Balls” has “a song called ‘Guns, Bombs and Fortunes of Gold’ and a murder ballad and one about daydreaming at a baseball game at Fenway.” Here’s some more stuff he told me about what it’s like playing in Columbus again:
“I was driving over to Columbus from Springfield the morning of the show, after having driven from Nashville the day before, and was feeling something pretty peculiar. I think a lot of memories from growing up there were surfacing, not anything too specific, just an energy that I was in my native territory. That’s why I opened with ‘Native’ in Columbus.”
Griffin’s audience has been steadily growing since he launched his first album, “Lost & Found,” in 2004. “It’s been fun to watch the audiences (in Columbus) grow and it feels good to be so welcomed in a place so close to home,” he said. Having played the Basement numerous times before, he added that it was a nice surprise to play upstairs in the A&R Music Bar space, saying the energy in the room and crowd was powerful.
My favorite bit was how he felt about being in Ohio, when he said, “I definitely feel a deep connection with the people, the land and the city. It’s a bit hard because when I am ‘home’ I realize I don’t live there and it leaves me feeling a bit exiled and wondering if the conveniences of living in Nashville are worth the trade off of feeling at home. I dream of retiring in Ohio. Or maybe just moving back one day. I always enjoy walking around German Village and checking out the Short North.”
Griffin also told me that he grabbed some food at Schmidt’s Sausage Haus in German Village (as if I didn’t already stalk his Twitter) and did a little yoga in the Short North–where he promptly locked his keys in his car and had to call a little mom-and-pop towing company.
He also bought me a beer. Like I said, coolest guy ever.
Griffin’s new album “Balls” drops Feb. 27. Tehe.
What’s the best band you’ve ever seen live?