Rhiannon Giddens, lead singer and a founding member of the Grammy winning string band, Carolina Chocolate Drops, has just released her first solo album called “Tomorrow Is My Turn”. It’s an impressive vocal tour de force that shows off Gidden’s superlative voice and extensive range.
Her rendition of “Waterboy floored the audience with in 2013 at the “Another Day, Another Time” folk concert honoring the Cohen Bros movie “Inside Lewyn Davis”. Giddens caught the ear of T-Bone Burnett who asked to record with her and produced “Tomorrow Is My Turn” which features her percussive but strikingly updated version of “Waterboy”, a song most famously associated with Odetta.
Giddens , a classically trained opera singer seems quite at ease covering all genres of music. For this album, she purposely chose tracks that didn’t fit the Chocolate Drops’ M.O. picking out songs written or at least interpreted by women singer who inspired her like Elizabeth Cotton, Nina Simone, Patsy Cline. Her version of Dolly Parton’s “Don’t Let It Trouble Your Mind” is absolutely stunning and so is her gospel prowess on Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s “Up Above My Head”.
The group of musicians Burnett picked to back Giddens on “Tomorrow Is My Turn” are also outstanding, notably fiddle player Gabe Witcher from the Punch Brothers. Chocolate Drop bandmates Hubby Jenkins and Adam Matta are also present. The only fully composed song is the self revealing “Angel City” penned by Giddens that gives closes the album.
Future bodes well
Rhiannon Giddens debut “Tomorrow Is My Turn” shows she has a voice to be reckoned with and the potential to become a legendary singer in her own right. Can’t wait to see what Giddens does next. – Eric Berg