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Songs We Love: Rhiannon Giddens, 'Black Is The Color'

Carolina Chocolate Drops' Rhiannon Giddens will release her solo debut, <em>Tomorrow Is My Turn</em>, on Feb. 10.
Courtesy of the artist
Carolina Chocolate Drops' Rhiannon Giddens will release her solo debut, Tomorrow Is My Turn, on Feb. 10.

Rhiannon Giddens' ascent began with her beat-box-infused version of Blu Cantrell's "Hit 'Em Up Style" — from Carolina Chocolate Drops' album Genuine Negro Jig — and continued with her show-stealing Gaelic song performance in the concert film Another Day, Another Time. Her take on Bob Dylan lyrics as a member of The New Basement Tapes dazzled.

Now comes her solo debut, Tomorrow Is My Turn. Giddens takes songs strongly linked to iconic female performers — including finger-picking pioneer Elizabeth Cotten, gospel superstar Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Patsy Cline — and somehow comes out owning them. This is particularly true of the music of Nina Simone, in both the album's title track and "Black Is The Color," the traditional song that was one of Simone's performance staples. Where Simone slowed "Black Is The Color" down to wring out the emotion, Giddens celebrates and soars. She's confident in her instincts and her abundant talent, and she should be.

Copyright 2015 XPN

David Dye is a longtime Philadelphia radio personality whose music enthusiasm has captivated listeners of World Cafe® since 1991. World Cafe is produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania.
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