Rhiannon Giddens’ Powerful Voice Must Be Experienced

Rhiannon Giddens embarked on her first solo tour several months ago. She achieved much success as a co-founder of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, but her reputation exploded through a couple of projects in which she participated over the last two years:  the Another Day, Another Time concert, a celebration of the music that inspired the film Inside Llewyn Davis, and The New Basement Tapes, a collaboration that set newly found Bob Dylan lyrics to music.

Rhiannon Giddens

Rhiannon Giddens

Rhiannon mentioned that this show at the Somerville Theatre was originally billed as a Carolina Chocolate Drops show; I would have seen the show either way, but I am glad it was her show.

Jamie Dick, Malcolm Partson, Jason Sypher, Rhiannon Giddens, Hubby Jenkins, Rowan Corbett

Jamie Dick, Malcolm Partson, Jason Sypher, Rhiannon Giddens, Hubby Jenkins, Rowan Corbett

The first time I watched the film made of the Another Day, Another Time concert, Rhiannon’s singing gave me goosebumps and brought me to tears. Her voice tears into you and leaves a mark on your heart and soul.

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Rhiannon Giddens

Rhiannon is an ethnomusicologist, researching African-American music through the ages, bringing it and the unknown and lesser-known musicians to the attention of music lovers. Some of them, such as Odetta, are artists I have known for many years; others, such as Sister Rosetta Tharpe, are new discoveries. All are worth exploring.

Rhiannon Giddens and Hubby Jenkins

Rhiannon Giddens and Hubby Jenkins

In addition to singing, Rhiannon plays banjo and fiddle.  Her band consists of Hubby Jenkins on banjo, guitar, and mandolin; Malcolm Parson on cello (and what I believe is a melodica); Rowan Corbett on bones; Jamie Dick on drums; and Jason Sypher on bass. Some of them contribute backing vocals as well.

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Hubby Jenkins and Rowan Corbett

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Rhiannon Giddens, Jason Sypher, and Jamie Dick

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Malcolm Parson, Rhiannon Giddens, and Jason Sypher

Not only did Rhiannon perform music written by African-American musicians, she also performed a Dolly Parton song ‘Don’t Let It Trouble Your Mind’. I don’t usually think of Dolly as a songwriter, but she is fairly prolific and her songs are covered by many.

Rhiannon Giddens

Rhiannon Giddens

The music may be traditional folk, but in Rhiannon’s hands it takes on a new dimension, at least for this writer. Tomorrow Is My Turn is Rhiannon’s first solo effort, but I think today is her turn… As is tomorrow and the next day…

Rhiannon Giddens

Rhiannon Giddens

Bhi Bhiman opened the show with a short set of original tunes. He is also a student of African-American history; his songs included one written about Huey Newton, one of the founders of the Black Panther Party.

Bhi Bhiman

Bhi Bhiman

Rhiannon is in the middle of this tour, so if she is appearing in a city near you, I strongly recommend you go – if the show is not already sold out!

Rhiannon Giddens

Rhiannon Giddens

This show was sponsored by World Music/CRASHarts, which delivers concerts by musicians from Africa to India to you name the part of the world. Check it out and become a member!

About suze72

I've loved the arts all my life... I go to a lot of concerts, take lots of photos and want to share them. Every once in a while I do something other than a concert, too. The Boston area is full of opportunities to indulge my passion - I'd like to help make it yours too!

Posted on April 20, 2015, in concert photos, concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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