Super Star Agni for Deets and Geets:
If you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while, you know I’m Afro-Native, which means a person of African and Native American descent—technically, I’m of African, Cherokee, and Scottish descent, but Afro-Native for conversation’s sake—and with February being Black History Month in the States, I thought it’d be apt to feature an Afro-Native musician for this month’s Geets. One musician I’ve been jamming to a lot this month is North Carolina’s own Rhiannon Giddens (Lumbee, Occaneechi, and Seminole), whose stylings include folk, old-timey, bluegrass, country gospel, blues, jazz, soul, R&B, and Celtic Americana. Besides killing it on fiddle and viola, she’s also boss on the banjo, which, in case you didn’t know, is an African-derived instrument. See her rock out in this cover of “Georgie Buck.”
I also respect how she champions most beautifully contributions to American musical history by people who have previously been overlooked and/or shunned. Honestly, listening to her covers of old-timey classics are akin to hearing an endangered language spoken.
With that, here are the top three Rhiannon Giddens songs I’ve been listening to on repeat:
#1: “Waterbound” (with Francesco Turrisi) on They’re Calling Me Home
#2: “Shake Sugaree” on Tomorrow is my Turn
#3: “Mountain Banjo” on The Music of Red Dead Redemption 2 (Original Soundtrack)
If you’d like to hear a playlist of these songs, check out my video below.
I almost forgot—in case you missed it, check out my review of Wahpepah’s Kitchen, run by another Afro-Native phenomenon, Crystal Wahpepah (Kickapoo).
Happy Black (Native) History Month!