After running his family business and raising his three children, Jeff Griffith worked in the honky tonks on weekends but hadn’t been out of Texas that often. Yet, after his friend and manager talked to Joe Stampley, Jeff was off and performing for him in Nashville. Stampley decided that Jeff needed to record a record and the result of their partnership is Jeff’s debut album, “If It Ain’t One Thing, It’s Another.”
Featuring 11 tracks of traditional country music, the album features numerous songs written by both Joe Stampley and his son Tony. As good as the songwriting is, every country music fan will tell you that the voice is what drives the songs home, not the melodies. Jeff Griffith has the kind of honky tonk voice that feels like home. It’s a voice that doesn’t need pro-tools or studio trickery to sell a song. Griffith’s charming, down-home personality really shines through on many of the songs. “It’ Ain’t The Clothes That Make the Man” takes an oft-used phrase and turns it into a shufflin’ love song about the special woman who makes his life complete. The fiddle shimmers, the steel guitars moan right along with both the beat and Jeff’s vocals.
A Top 10 hit for Gary Stewart in 1974, “Drinkin’ Thing” is revived by Griffith and Stampley and it stays true to Griffith’s honky tonk roots while “She Reminds Me of You” is one of those classic, I still love you lyrics that’s delivered with a fine Jones-like vocal that takes a somewhat sleepy song and wraps your mind around it. Currently a Top 40 hit on the Music Row and Texas Music charts, “Holed Up in a Honky Tonk” is a fiddle-laced, less-than three minute love song that isn’t a new lyric but the song is damn fun.
As recent as 10 years ago songs as catchy as “Whiskey Talkin’” and “Tonight Was Made For the Two of Us” would’ve been found on a record by the likes of Joe Diffie or Aaron Tippin and quite possibly a hit but in these pop-country times songs without as much character have taken over. This is exactly what Jeff Griffith’s debut album “If It Ain’t One Thing, It’s Another” is full of character-rich vocal performances and passionate traditional country music; the kind that many fans claim as the only ‘true’ or ‘real’ kind of country music.