Scottish singer Jill Jackson was still at school when she first felt the magic of Nanci Griffith.
The rock frontwoman-turned-Americana exponent is one of a posse of singers who’ll be paying homage to the late Nashville legend at Perth Concert Hall tomorrow.
She says the gig will take her back to her teenage years in the 1990s.
‘The first gig I ever went to’
“The first thing I heard Nanci singing was the John Prine song Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness,” she reveals.
“I was a bit obsessed and I went to Tower Records and I was buying all the Nanci CDs I could find, spending all the money that I had at that time.
“She was the first gig I ever went to as a kid when I was 15, at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. I had to go and she was just incredible.
“And she came back the next year when she was touring with The Crickets, and I went to see her doing all these Buddy Holly songs and some of her own stuff as well, and that was just an amazing show as well.”
Tomorrow’s tribute show is a re-run of a concert first staged in January at Celtic Connections.
Jackson will be joined by Kirsten Adamson, James Grant, Karen Matheson, Dean Owens, Lisa Rigby and Emily Smith to perform classics by Texas-born songwriter Griffith, who died last August aged 68.
“There’s a real mixture of artists within that Americana and folk genre and they all bring something different to each of the songs,” says Glasgow-raised Jill, 43, who released her seventh album Yours Aye in May.
“I think that was what was really nice about the show (in January) – hearing people doing their own interpretations of those songs. I also got to meet a few artists I’ve never met before because we’re kind of in different scenes.
“Getting to watch them perform and do their thing has been really nice as well.”
The ex-Speedway star was thrilled to be given the chance to sing Griffith’s songs at the same venue where she saw the icon play in the 90s.
“It was a really special show, and when I got the message through to say we were going to do it again in Perth I was just absolutely delighted.
‘Out of my comfort zone’
“Most of the time what I do is shows either with my band or solo, so being a part of this takes me out of my comfort zone a bit. It being a Nanci Griffith tribute is the best part because I’m a massive fan, and that’s made it even more special for me.”
Scotland Sings Nanci Griffith is the highlight of Perth’s returning-for-one-night-only Southern Fried Festival, which forged a formidable reputation as an annual celebration of American roots music across a decade up to 2018.
“I played it a couple of times and I’m so glad it’s coming back,” adds Jackson.
“I did it a few years ago with one of my good friends Rab Noakes and a time before that on a wee outdoor stage, which was lovely.
“I played Perth Concert Hall for the first time in April for Eddi Reader and it was gorgeous.”
- Tickets are at horsecross.co.uk