Jack Ingram with Patty Griffin – “Seeing Stars”

Brittney | October 8th, 2009

jack-ingram-seeing-starsSongwriters: Jack Ingram and Chris Tompkins.

As Lennon and McCartney once famously said, sometimes all it takes is a little help from some friends. Such is the case for Texas singer/songwriter Jack Ingram on his latest single, “Seeing Stars.” Exactly which friend did he call upon for a little help on this number? The one and only Patty Griffin–and it’s a good thing he did.

Ingram’s latest album, Big Dreams & High Hopes was exactly that—wishful thinking, on both his part and that of country critics–that he would transcend the mediocre reviews so many similar artists receive. Unfortunately, Big Dreams fell short of its high expectations and landed in the monotonous, mainstream middle Ingram has since been known for inhabiting.

“Seeing Stars,” however, does not fit that average mold, thanks largely in part to Griffin’s contributions. This isn’t the first time Ingram has called upon the critically acclaimed folk singer/songwriter for collaboration, either–she also contributed to two tracks on his 2002 album Electric. Not a stranger to country, she recently recorded a duet with Dierks Bentley, “Beautiful World” (from Feel That Fire), as well.

In an interview with CMT, Ingram said that “Seeing Stars” is about failing to maintain a relationship with “God or with Jesus or with anybody that you follow religiously,” and the painful guilt that ensues. This is a sentiment known all too well by far too many, making it likely to strike a chord with most listeners more earnestly than, say, another song about another breakup.

Ingram and Griffin take this topic, which could be lyrically heavy-handed, and make it pleasantly digestible through their gentle, sincere delivery–a refreshing change of pace from similar “inspirational” songs that try and force trite messages down listeners’ proverbial throats through over-produced harmonies and soaring, hyperbolic instrumentation.

Griffin’s virtuosic delicacy balances out Ingram’s grit. Backed by gently rhythmic, melodic acoustic guitar lines, the song is successful in its inherent simplicity. It would have been nice to hear a bit more from Griffin on the track, but as they say, beggars can’t be choosers. Creative collaboration exists to bring out the best in the involved parties, and this song does exactly that. It’s just a shame there’s only so much of Patty to go around.

Thumbs Up

  1. Zach
    October 8, 2009 at 11:43 am

    If Dierks Bentley releases “Beautiful World” next, as expected, then Patty Griffin could receive more radio time than any other mainstream country artist. That, of course, depends on the success of both singles (and Dierks actually releasing his), but still, it’s a beautiful thought to sit and ponder over.

  2. Chris D.
    October 8, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Wow, I might hear Patty Griffin on the radio? That’s fantastic!

  3. Rick
    October 8, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    Patty Griffin makes my skin crawl and I don’t even know why! She must be an Obamavoter type….

  4. Gloria
    October 8, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    Sorry, but I don’t think Jack Ingram is a very good singer at all.

  5. Wade Patry
    October 9, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    Love this song, Ingram knocks it out of the park.

  6. Jo
    October 11, 2009 at 11:11 am

    One of the best songs that Jack has ever recorded, and I’ve listened to a lot of Jack Ingram songs.

  7. Steve Harvey
    December 13, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    Patty Griffin makes my skin crawl and I don’t even know why!
    Rick doesn’t like Patty Griffin, Willie Nelson, Gary Allan or George Jones.
    He officially has terrible taste. I wouldn’t be surprised if he confesses to a fondness for Lady Gaga soon.

  8. Razor X
    December 13, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    Rick doesn’t like Patty Griffin, Willie Nelson, Gary Allan or George Jones.
    He officially has terrible taste.

    You forgot Conway Twitty and Rodney Crowell.

  9. TexasVet
    December 13, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Rick doesn’t like Patty Griffin, Willie Nelson, Gary Allan or George Jones.
    He officially has terrible taste.

    You forgot Conway Twitty and Rodney Crowell.

    And Reba…It’s all about politics for Rick. If he found out that Loretta Lynn was an “obamavoter” he wouldn’t like her either.

  10. Steve Harvey
    December 13, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    Rick doesn’t like Patty Griffin, Willie Nelson, Gary Allan or George Jones.
    He officially has terrible taste.

    You forgot Conway Twitty and Rodney Crowell.

    And Reba
    Dear lord, that’s quite a list. How long before he says he’s not too keen on Hank Williams or Merle Haggard?

  11. Razor X
    December 14, 2009 at 5:25 am

    Dear lord, that’s quite a list. How long before he says he’s not too keen on Hank Williams or Merle Haggard?

    I believe he’s gone on record as having stopped liking Haggard sometime in the 80s.

  12. sam (sam)
    December 14, 2009 at 7:36 am

    I don’t see why a fondness for Lady Gaga indicates poor taste. She’s a much more talented vocalist and performer than Gary Allan. And Lady Gaga’s performances and song choices are in no less poor taste than Allan’s, at least to my mind.

  13. Thomas
    December 14, 2009 at 7:55 am

    …any particular view on BOMSHEL, sam (sam)?

  14. sam (sam)
    December 14, 2009 at 8:46 am

    Of course, Thomas. I prefer Lady Gaga to BOMSHEL, too. But in fairness to BOMSHEL, I’m not to familiar with BOMSHEL, except for the song “BOMSHEL Stomp,” which to be honest with you, I don’t care if I never hear again. It seemed kinda mindless and really wasn’t that catchy.

  15. Steve Harvey
    February 2, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    She’s a much more talented vocalist and performer than Gary Allan.
    I could not possibly disagree with you more.

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