Rhiannon Giddens is having a great year. The prolific multi-instrumentalist and former member of regional favorites, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, won a Pulitzer Prize for her opera, Omar, in May, and she has a new album on the horizon.
On August 18, Giddens will release “You’re the One,” her first solo effort in six years. The record finds her working with producer Jack Splash and expanding her roots-based palette to include elements of jazz, gospel, and Cajun music.
“Yet to Be,” a poignant standout from the album, recently surfaced, and the track is a heartfelt pastoral duet with Americana hero Jason Isbell. The song tells the story of a young black woman who runs away from a family farm and falls in love with an Irish man.
Giddens and Isbell each take verses and soulfully share the chorus, optimistically proclaiming, “the best is yet to be.”
“He’s been such an ally in the industry to black women,” Giddens said of Isbell in a statement on the track. “He’s a great singer, and he’s uncompromisingly himself—also just a really good person.”
Giddens will perform songs from “You’re the One” on a tour this fall that has multiple stops in the South. She performs at the Carolina Theatre in Greensboro, N.C., on September 28 and the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville, Va., on October 2.
Photo by Ebru Yildiz