The VIP Lounge

The VIP Lounge with Patty Griffin

Patty Griffin
David McClister
Patty Griffin

Grammy Award-winning musician Patty Griffin, an Old Town, Maine, native, has achieved acclaim for her songwriting as well as her powerful voice. Her folk-influenced songs have been covered by many artists including Emmylou Harris, Bette Midler, Joan Baez, and the Dixie Chicks. Griffin, 54, will be performing at the Capitol Center for the Arts, in Concord, N.H., on July 22; Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River on July 24; the Payomet Performing Arts Center, North Truro, on Aug. 1; and Old Whaling Church, Edgartown, on Aug. 2. We caught up with Griffin, who lives in Austin, Texas, to talk about all things travel.

Favorite vacation destination? I’m not a big vacation traveler, but I obviously travel a lot with the work that I do. I‘ve had the travel bug my whole life and I could never choose a favorite place. But if I had to pick a favorite city, I would say Rome. I love the chaos, art in every tight corner, the food, the wine, and the way Romans keep up with the small pleasures that make life worth living. It’s a big city that’s warm and inviting. But I love wilderness and quiet places, too.

Favorite food or drink while vacationing? I had some salmon sashimi once in Vancouver which I ordered from a kind, elderly Japanese gentleman with a beautiful smile who didn’t speak much English. It redefined sushi for me and I don’t bother with it much anymore unless it’s that fresh and local.


Where would you like to travel to but haven’t? Africa, Brazil, China, and Japan. I’ve never been to Africa, Brazil, or China and I’ve only flown through Japan. I need to book some gigs there.

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One item you can’t leave home without when traveling? There’s really not much you can’t do without. I’ve traveled so much over the past 20-plus years, so I’ve forgotten or lost almost everything on the essentials list at least once. You make do. So I guess just don’t forget the meds that keep you going. It’s super inconvenient to deal with a prescription that’s lost. Keep them nearby. Luggage can get lost.

Aisle or window? Window — for the view and also to lean and sleep [against] on long flights.

Favorite childhood travel memory? Camping with my family in the Dells in Wisconsin for the whole summer of 1969. My father was going to school out there and brought the whole family — nine of us — with him. We lived in tents for months. On our drive home we saw people hitchhiking to Woodstock to get to the concert. I was only 4 years old, but I remember so many details. . . . It was an amazing summer.

Guilty pleasure when traveling? Sometimes hotel rooms and room service are so great. I’ve spent more time in them instead of being out and about discovering.


Best travel tip? Pack ahead, pack light, be curious and respectful. You are visiting the home of others — all creatures included. Leave a small footprint and good will.