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When RHIANNON GIDDENS first graced the Bandshell stage in 2008 fronting the razor-sharp string band Carolina Chocolate Drops, there was a feeling in the air that this was just the beginning. As per theNew York Times: “She can summon the power of a field holler, Celtic quavers, girlish innocence, bluesy sensuality, gospel exaltation or the pain of slavery. . . For all her technical control, her voice is a perpetually soulful marvel.”
And lo and behold, after the Chocolate Drops won the GRAMMY for Best Traditional Folk Album with their 2010 debut Genuine Negro Jig, she stepped gracefully into the spotlight and embarked on a torrent of collaborations and other projects, working with artists ranging from Jon Lindsay to Elvis Costello. This past February she released her debut solo album, Tomorrow is My Turn, to widespread critical acclaim. Produced by T. Bone Burnett, the record is equal parts retrospective of vernacular musical styles and manifesto from the perspective of American women.
The evening begins with GRAMMY-winning singer-songwriter JOE HENRY, who has a long history of working with Rhiannon and even produced Genuine Negro Jig. He has the air of an ancient storyteller, “coupling gloom with streaming daylight and gilding his saddest observations with joy and awe.” (NPR)