My guest today is Rhiannon Giddens co-founder of the Carolina Chocolate Drops an old-time string band from Durham, North Carolina. Their 2010 album, Genuine Negro Jig, won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards. Giddens has released a solo album produced by T. Bone Burnett called Tomorrow Is My Turn. David Fricke in Rolling Stone called the album “a spiritual archaeology of American racial and economic struggle via sublime covers of songs identified with Nina Simone, Patsy Cline and Elizabeth Cotten, among others.” In the Interview that follows Giddens says “music is a voice for the voiceless…it says what cannot be said.”
One note Rhiannon Giddens returns to again and again is the hidden nature of the traditions and origins of music in America. If Rhiannon Giddens had herself been hidden in the Carolina Chocolate Drops she is no more. Her last three projects, produced by T. Bone Burnett, have put her front and center and have culminated in this first solo record.
She’s performed on “Another Day, Another Time,” the 2013 concert and Showtime documentary revisiting the 1960s folk revival; she was the sole female participant in the 2014 project the New Basement Tapes, writing songs with rediscovered Bob Dylan lyrics alongside Elvis Costello, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons and Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes. She also composed and recorded a song for a companion album to the movie of The Hunger Games, called “Daughter’s Lament,” after spending a weekend reading all three of the series novels.
“John Henry” (Carolina Chocolate Drops with Joe Thompson)
“Don’t Let It Trouble Your Mind”
“Cry No More”
“Daughter’s Lament” (Carolina Chocolate Drops)
“Last Kind Words”
Producer & Host: Doug Storm
Executive Producer: Joe Crawford