You're the One Rhiannon Giddens
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- 1Too Little, Too Late, Too Bad03:44
- 2You're the One03:25
- 3Yet to Be (feat. Jason Isbell)03:39
- 4Wrong Kind of Right04:39
- 5Another Wasted Life04:47
- 6You Louisiana Man04:06
- 7If You Don’t Know How Sweet It Is03:01
- 8Hen in the Foxhouse03:47
- 9Who Are You Dreaming Of03:25
- 10You Put the Sugar in My Bowl02:58
- 11Way Over Yonder03:11
- 12Good Ol' Cider00:45
Info for You're the One
The album is the GRAMMY, MacArthur and Pulitzer-winning singer, composer, and instrumentalist’s third solo studio album and her first of all original songs; her last solo album was 2017’s critically acclaimed Freedom Highway. This collection of 12 songs written over the course of Giddens’ career bursts with life-affirming energy, drawing from the folk music that she knows so deeply, as well as its pop descendants. The album was produced by Jack Splash (Kendrick Lamar, Solange, Alicia Keys, Valerie June, Tank and the Bangas) and recorded at Criteria Recording Studios in Miami with a band composed of Giddens’s closest musical collaborators from the past decade alongside musicians from Splash’s own Rolodex, topped off with a horn section, making an impressive ten- to twelve-person ensemble.
It was also announced yesterday that Giddens has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music for the opera Omar, which she co-wrote with Michael Abels (Get Out, Nope). Omar, based on the autobiography of an enslaved Muslim man, Omar Ibn Said, who lived in Charleston, SC in the 19th century, made its world premiere last year at Spoleto Festival and has been performed at LA Opera, Boston Lyric Opera and North Carolina Arts, with San Francisco Opera scheduled for this November.
Giddens has also announced the biggest headlining shows of her career, including performances at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville in September, plus the Barbican Centre in London, the Beacon Theatre in New York City, and the Ace Theater in Los Angeles next spring. See below for her full itinerary.
You're The One is singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist, Rhiannon Giddens' 5th album and first full band release in over 6 years. The album, which is her first album of all original songs (all written or co-written by Giddens), was produced by Jack Splash (St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Valerie June, Solange) and features guest appearances from Jason Isbell, Leyla McCalla, and Eryn Allen Kane. Over the course of her career, Rhiannon Giddens has established herself as one of the most important artists in the world. Her mission has been to lift up people whose contributions to American musical history have previously been erased, and to work toward a more accurate understanding of the country's musical origins. That work has led to massive press recognition and multiple GRAMMY wins; a McArthur "Genius" grant, hosting various podcasts and tv shows, amongst countless other initiatives.
Giddens made You’re the One with some of her closest musical collaborators from the past decade, including her partner, Italian multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi, plus multi-instrumentalist Dirk Powell, bassist Jason Sypher, and Congolese guitarist Niwel Tsumbu. The album features electric and upright bass, conga, Cajun and Piano accordions, guitars, a Western string section, and Miami horns, among other instruments, capturing the inclusive spirit that channels through all of her work.
"I hope that people just hear American music," Giddens says. "Blues, jazz, Cajun, country, gospel, and rock—it's all there. I like to be where it meets organically. They're fun songs, and I wanted them to have as much of a chance as they could to reach people who might dig them but don't know anything about what I do. If they're introduced to me through this record, they might go listen to other music I've made and make some new discoveries.”
You’re the One opens with "Too Little, Too Late, Too Bad," an R&B blast (complete with background "shoops" and horns) that takes a titan for inspiration. "I listened to a bunch of Aretha Franklin, and then turned to fellow Aretha-nut Dirk Powell and said, ‘Let’s write a song she might have sung!'" Giddens recalls. Her danceable, vivacious tribute to Franklin's sound is a vocal showcase, spotlighting her soaring high notes and nearly-growling low ones. Another highlight, "If You Don't Know How Sweet It Is," intentionally puts an edgier spin on the sass of Dolly Parton's early work.
One of the album's most powerful moments is "Another Wasted Life," inspired by the tragic story of Kalief Browder, who was incarcerated on Rikers Island for three years without trial. The lone featured guest on the album is Jason Isbell on “Yet to Be,” the story of a Black woman and an Irish man falling in love in America.
As Pitchfork once said, “few artists are so fearless and so ravenous in their exploration”—a journey that has led to NPR naming her one of its 25 Most Influential Women Musicians of the 21st Century and to American Songwriter calling her “one of the most important musical minds currently walking the planet.” Giddens’ previous album They're Calling Me Home won the GRAMMY for Best Folk Album in 2022, making her a two-time winner and eight-time nominee. She also had her PBS’ Great Performances debut with the Nashville Ballet in Black Lucy and the Bard, which she composed and performed the music for with Francesco Turrisi, and released a children's book inspired by a song she wrote for Juneteenth called Build A House. She is also the creative director of the Silkroad Ensemble, is this year’s musical director of the Ojai Festival, created a 10-part video series about the banjo on Wondrium, and is hosting a new series on PBS this summer called My Music. Giddens has collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma, Elvis Costello and Daniel Lanois, appeared on the Kennedy Center Awards for Joan Baez, and has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, CBS Saturday Morning, and the recent GRAMMY Salute to Paul Simon on CBS.
Singer and multi-instrumentalist Rhiannon Giddens is best known as the frontwoman of African-American string band the Carolina Chocolate Drops, whose 2010 album Genuine Negro Jig earned them a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album. Raised in Piedmont, North Carolina, Giddens studied opera at the Oberlin Conservatory before relocating back home, where she became immersed in the rural musical traditions of that region.
A chance meeting with future bandmates Justin Robinson and Dom Flemons at the 2005 Black Banjo Gathering in Boone, North Carolina resulted in the formation of their first folk project, Sankofa Strings. Originally an outlet to perform various early African-American musical styles like blues, country, hot string jazz, and Caribbean, the bandmembers ended up learning much of their early repertoire from legendary old-time fiddler Joe Thompson. Adopting the name the Carolina Chocolate Drops, the group released four eclectic and well-respected albums before signing with Nonesuch Records to release its wildly successful 2010 breakthrough album. Following the success of Genuine Negro Jig, the band continued to tour and record with an ever-evolving lineup that remained centered around Giddens' powerful vocals and fiddle/banjo playing.
Drafted by producer T-Bone Burnett to perform solo at the 2013 Another Day, Another Time concert (celebrating the musical era of the film Inside Llewyn Davis) in New York, she gave a show-stopping performance of the Odetta classic "Waterboy," which was widely considered the highlight of the evening. Just a few months later in early 2014, she again worked with Burnett on the collaborative New Basement Tapes recording project, which featured Elvis Costello, Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Marcus Mumford (Mumford & Sons), and Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes) writing new music to recently discovered Bob Dylan lyrics.
Her own Burnett-produced solo debut, Tomorrow Is My Turn, was released a year later in February 2015.
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