Patty Griffin has just released another album, ‘American Kid,’ which she admits is one of the more personal projects she has ever recorded. The Grammy-winning songwriter penned much of her latest CD while dealing with her father’s tragic illness and death.

“It was just one of those moments you think about when you think you have some time from it and you don’t know exactly how the hell you’re gonna get through that,” she explains. “So I just wrote about it, while I was going through it, while he was getting ready to go, so I was getting ready to let him go.”

The singer-songwriter says she found it helpful to put her thoughts to music while dealing with her father’s passing. “It’s how I process my world, you know,” Griffin notes. “I would write about what was going on in my life, and that’s what was going on. So in that way it wasn’t really hard, just I think what was going on is life. And it’s as hard as life is [or] can be at times.”

Griffin also wrote about her feelings over unwanted and abused animals in the haunting tune ‘Wild Old Dog.’ The Maine native recalls a trip driving from Texas to Tennessee, when she saw a dog abandoned in the middle of a busy highway, which inspired the song. “I looked out onto the median strip and there was this big, big brown pit bull, just darting down the middle,” she recalls. “It just took my breath away because it was so beautiful. I just kept driving for a second, then I thought to myself, ‘Wow, that dog’s done for.’”

The 49-year-old enlisted the help of Robert Plant to record two songs on the 12-track CD – ‘Ohio’ and ‘Faithful Son.’ “He’s one of those rare voices,” she explains. “What I’ve gotten out of singing with him is even more immense than I can perceive.”

‘American Kid’ was released on New West Records. Purchase a copy here.