"Hell no, I'm not all right," Nanci Griffith growls over a Buddy Holly-like gallop on her surprisingly snappish latest album, Intersection. Although "Hell No" is an angry swipe at a departed lover, it's indicative of a riled, far less wistful, older and wiser Griffith who's newly willing to lay it on the line in personal as well as political terms. On "Bad Seed" she aggressively confronts her estranged father, while on the title cut she soberly faces a collision of hope and fear. A few other tunes, including "Bethlehem Steel," continue the stark political commentary of 2009's The Loving Kind. After a succession of personal hardships and upheaval, Griffith is alternately pissed off, sad, scared, and a bit haunted. Her singing is edgier, more wired, less chirpy, while the band plays a leaner version of her characteristic country-folk hybrid. No, Griffith hasn't been doing that well lately. But she ends Intersection with an upbeat, bluegrass cover of Loretta Lynn's "High on a Mountain Top," suggesting better days ahead. $50-$60, 7 p.m. 1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612.332.1010.
Mondays, Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: Sept. 23. Continues through Sept. 24, 2012