Recorded with Italian multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi
Traditional songs, new material by a founding member of The Carolina Chocolate Drops
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 12-song album that speaks to the longing for the comfort of home as well as the metaphorical call "home" of death, which has been a tragic reality for so many during the COVID-19 crisis.
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."
|1. Calling Me Home|
|3. Si Dolce è'l Tormento|
|4. I Shall Not Be Moved|
|5. Black as Crow|
|6. O Death|
|1. Niwel Goes to Town|
|2. When I Was in My Prime|
|4. Bully for You|
|5. Nenna Nenna|
|6. Amazing Grace|