Origin: Piedmont, North Carolina
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Few people are as multi-talented as Rhiannon Giddens, a biracial musician classically trained in opera at Oberlin University and well-known as the founding member and front woman of the Grammy winning country, blues and old-time African-American string band, the Carolina Chocolate Drops. The CCD members all happen to be African-American.
Somehow she finds enough time to also pursue a solo career and has contributed to other recording projects. Ms Giddens is in the spotlight quite a bit more thanks to her involvement in producer T-Bone Burnett’s New Basement Tapes project and contributed to the The New Basement Tapes 2014 album, “Lost On The River.”
Her solo work has also been a growing source of attention. The multi-instrumentalist has issued two EP’s and three albums of solo tunes during the last three years. Rhiannon’s albums are “Tomorrow Is My Turn” (2015), “Live at Jazzfest 2016” (2016) and the newest, “Freedom Highway” (2017). Enjoy the video and title song, below.
Giddens signed onto the cast of “Nashville” late last year to play Hanna Lee “Hallie” Jordan, a social worker who has an undiscovered singing talent. According to CMT, her role will be reoccurring, but no other details of her plot line have been revealed.
Her 2015 EP title track, “Factory Girl,” received a Grammy nomination for Best American Roots Performance in 2017, while the EP itself was nominated for Best Folk Album. Giddens’ banjo and songs mine stories of the secular folk gospel, carefully conserving them for future generations.
Rhiannon has also recorded as Gaelwynd; Rhiannon Giddens & Elftones; Mike Compton, Laurelyn Dossett, Rhiannon Giddens, Joe Newberry, Jason Sypher and The Giddens Sisters.