Acclaimed musician Rhiannon Giddens excavates the past and reveals bold truths about our present. The MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipient collaborates with Italian multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi and her band to forge exultant sounds from the lullabies, ballads, and folk songs of their native and adoptive countries of America, Italy, and Ireland. The duo most recently won a 2022 Grammy for Best Folk Album for their stirring work, They’re Calling Me Home.
Giddens and Turrisi recorded They’re Calling Me Home during the COVID-19 lockdown in Ireland, where they both live when they aren’t on tour. The two expats found themselves exploring the emotions brought up by the moment and decamped to Hellfire, a small studio on a working farm outside of Dublin, to record the 12-track album over six days. The work speaks of 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 is the follow-up to Giddens’ 2019 album with Turrisi, there is no Other. The duo earned a Grammy nomination for the album, which is at once a condemnation of “othering” and a celebration of the spread of ideas, connectivity, and shared experience.