New Release – ‘Freedom Highway’
Out February 2017
Freedom Highway, Rhiannon Giddens‘ follow-up to her highly-praised album, Tomorrow Is My Turn (2015), will be released by Nonesuch Records on February 24 2017. The record includes nine original songs she wrote or co-wrote, along with a traditional tune and two civil rights–era songs, ‘Birmingham Sunday’ and The Staple Singers‘ ‘Freedom Highway’.
Giddens co-produced the album with multi-instrumentalist Dirk Powell in his Breaux Bridge, Louisiana studio, with the bulk of recording done in wooden rooms built prior to the Civil War, over an intense eight-day period. Reports are the result is an album that is rawer and more personal than its predecessor.
On the Nonesuch site, there’s quite a lot of information about the new album, including a quote from Giddens on the title track:
“I am a daughter of the South; of the white working class, of the black working class; of the Democrat, and the Republican; of the gay, and the straight; and I can tell you one thing—we are far more alike than we are different. We cannot let hate divide us; we cannot let ignorance diminish us; we cannot let those whose greed fills their every waking hour take our country from us. They can’t take U.S. from US—unless we let them. I recorded this with Bhi Bhiman, all-American singer-songwriter from St. Louis, whose parents are from Sri Lanka. America’s strength are her people, whether they came 4,000, 400, or 40 years ago, and we can’t leave anyone behind. Let’s walk down Freedom Highway together. Written by Pops Staples in 1965.”
Giddens, who has previously won accolades and a Grammy Award as a member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, made her solo debut with Tomorrow Is My Turn, which was Grammy nominated, and Giddens received the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Singer of the Year. Earlier this year she won the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Bluegrass and Banjo.
Here’s a sound clip of the title track: