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Rhiannon Giddens

The Freedom Highway Tour

Amythyst Kiah

Time: 7:30pm     Day: Tuesday     Doors: 7:00pm     Ages: All Ages    
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Tickets cost $27, $32 and $37 (plus additional service charges for online purchases).  
Tickets are available from the NHCC Box Office (in person and by phone - (505) 724-4771).

Rhiannon Giddens [website | Amazon.com] is the co-founder of the Grammy Award-winning string band Carolina Chocolate Drops, in which she also plays banjo and fiddle. She began gaining recognition as a solo artist when she stole the show at the T Bone Burnett–produced Another Day, Another Time concert at New York City's Town Hall in 2013. The elegant bearing, prodigious voice, and fierce spirit that brought the audience to its feet that night is also abundantly evident on Giddens' critically acclaimed solo debut, the Grammy nominated album, Tomorrow Is My Turn, which masterfully blends American musical genres like gospel, jazz, blues, and country, showcasing her extraordinary emotional range and dazzling vocal prowess.

Giddens' follow-up album, Freedom Highway, will be released on Feb. 24, 2017. It includes 9 original songs Giddens wrote or co-wrote along with a traditional song and two civil rights-era songs, "Birmingham Sunday" and Staple Singers' well-known "Freedom Highway," from which the album takes its name.

Giddens' recent televised performances include "The Late Show," "Austin City Limits," "Later... with Jools Holland" and CBS' "Saturday Morning" and "Sunday Morning," among numerous other notable media appearances. She performed for President Obama and the First Lady on a White House Tribute to Gospel, along with Aretha Franklin and Emmylou Harris; the program was televised on PBS. Giddens duets with country superstar Eric Church on his powerful anti-racism song "Kill a Word," which is currently top 15 on country radio; the two have performed the song on "The Tonight Show" and the CMA Awards, among other programs. Giddens received the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Singer of the Year and won the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Bluegrass and Banjo in 2016.

Giddens, who studied opera at Oberlin, makes her acting debut with a recurring role on the recently revived television drama "Nashville," which debuts on CMT in January, playing the role of Hanna Lee "Hallie" Jordan, a young social worker with "the voice of an angel."

Opening the show is Amythyst Kiah, a Southern Gothic, alt-country blues singer/songwriter based out of Johnson City, TN, which has been her permanent residence for nearly a decade. She has been performing in what is known as the Tri-Cities (Bristol, TN/VA, Johnson City, TN, Kingsport, TN) and in various parts of Southwest Virginia.

Not only are her influences eclectic, but they span across decades. She draws heavily on Old Time music (Mississippi Sheiks, Son House, Jimmie Rodgers, Olla Belle Reed, Carter Family) and is inspired by vocal stylings of R&B and Country music from the '50s-'70s (Big Mama Thornton, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Mahalia Jackson, Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn). She also draws heavily from contemporary artists that have similar powerful vocal integrity (Adele, Florence and the Machine, Megan Jean and the KFB, Janelle Monae, Thom Yorke, Tori Amos, Bonnie Raitt). Needless to say, Amythyst has got a lot of tools in her vocal tool box, and is also well on her way to join the powerhouse vocalist pantheon. Her sound on her solo album, "Dig," is raw and sparse, with heavy lyrical content regarding such themes as loss, betrayal, and murder. She has opened for such acts as Tim O'Brien and Darrell Scott, The Duhks, Megan Jean and the KFB, and has played the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival 2012 alongside the Ebony Hillbillies and Sparky and Rhonda Rucker, and has performed on Music City Roots.


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