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Freedom Highway

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Customer Reviews

Keep Hope Alive

This album is released one month after the first black US president leaves office and three years into the Black Lives Matter movement and with Donald Trump taking office. This is a time of FEAR for many of us. And it is into this context that Rhiannon Giddens digs deep into our history and the traditions of American Roots music. Her message might be that to be a resilient people you have to know your past. Giddens's songwriting shines on this album much more than her previous work with the Carolina Chocolate Drops and her first solo and follow-up EP. The three covers of Mississippi John Hurt, Richard Farina, and The Staples Singers are carefully chosen to tie into her main theme of knowing your history. The choice of producer Dick Powell and his Civil War Era studio for recordingthe project is as brilliant as Bob Dylan & The Band's settling into the basement. Yes, time and place do matter! I don't just WANT to hear this album, but I NEED to hear it. Right now more than ever. American Roots music has never been more relevant.

Freedom Highway

Currently listening to this on NPR Music First Listen - and it's a stone masterpiece. RG has always been a great singer, but she excels on this wonderful, wonderful record. Instrumentation kept to a minimum - and all the players are great - so as to highlight her tremendous vocals and wonderful material (Birmingham Sunday a stand out). The songs are great too - without being too strident, the lyrics really hit home, and there are several "good time" songs too. It has a timeless quality to it - made in 2017, but captures the spirit of Harry Smith's Anthology of American Music or Greil Marcus' old, weird America. Haven't heard a better record so far this year - and I have no doubt that this will be on a lot of people's record of the year come December. 10 stars.

The Best

For my money she's the best female singer recording right now. Her last album was my favorite of the year. This is equally wonderful!


Born: Greensboro, NC

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '10s

Singer and multi-instrumentalist Rhiannon Giddens is best known as the frontwoman of African-American string band the Carolina Chocolate Drops, whose 2010 album Genuine Negro Jig earned them a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album. Raised in Piedmont, North Carolina, Giddens studied opera at the Oberlin Conservatory before relocating back home, where she became immersed in the rural musical traditions of that region. A chance meeting with future bandmates Justin Robinson and Dom Flemons at...
Full Bio
Freedom Highway, Rhiannon Giddens
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Customer Ratings