Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi - They're Calling Me Home

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2021 release

Rhiannon Giddens' album They’re Calling Me Home was recorded with Italian multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi during the COVID-19 lockdown in Ireland. The two expats found themselves drawn to and comforted by the music of their native and adoptive countries of America, Italy, and Ireland, which they recorded at a spare studio on a working farm outside of Dublin. The result is a twelve-song album that speaks to the longing for the comfort of home as well as the metaphorical call "home" of death.

They're Calling Me Home features several traditional songs that Giddens hasn't played for years, including some of the first old-time pieces she ever learned: "I Shall Not Be Moved," "Black As Crow (Dearest Dear)" and "Waterbound." The album also includes a new song Giddens wrote, “Avalon,” as well as an Italian lullaby, “Nenna Nenna," that Turrisi used to sing to his infant daughter that took on new resonance during the lockdown.

Giddens says of Alice Gerrard, the folk music pioneer, who wrote "Calling Me Home," the video which for can be seen above: "Some people just know how to tap into a tradition and an emotion so deep that it sounds like a song that has always been around—Alice Gerrard is one of those rarities; 'Calling Me Home' struck me forcefully and deeply the first time I heard it, and every time since. This song just wanted to be sung and so I listened."

They’re Calling Me Home also includes two well known songs about death: "Amazing Grace" and "O Death."

The minstrel banjo, accordion and frame drums that have become characteristic of the pair’s sound are well represented on the album, but it’s the viola and cello banjo combination that captures unexpected emotion and intensity. Joining them at key moments are Congolese guitarist Niwel Tsumbu and Irish traditional musician Emer Mayock on flute, whistle, and pipes. Engineer Ben Rawlins was key to the shape and sound of the record while Giddens and Turrisi produced and Kim Rosen mastered.

They’re Calling Me Home is the follow-up to Giddens' 2019 album with Turrisi, "There is no Other", of which Pitchfork said, "There are few artists so fearless and so ravenous in their exploration." Giddens earned a Grammy Award nomination (her sixth) for the album, which is at once a condemnation of "othering" and a celebration of the spread of ideas, connectivity, and shared experience.

(075597915709)

SKU 075597915709
Barcode # 075597915709
Brand Nonesuch Records

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