24 August, 2020Print
Rhiannon Giddens Releases Original New Song “Don’t Call Me Names”
Rhiannon Giddens has unveiled an original new song called “Don’t Call Me Names.” The latest in a string of newly released recordings over the past months, “Don’t Call Me Names” is an electrifying song that builds to a storming intensity, deftly capturing the deeply personal realization and inner strength of saying no to toxic behavior. The track debuted yesterday on the first-ever episode of Southern Craft Radio, a new show on Apple Music Country hosted by Kelly McCartney. The song is also now available to stream.
Listen to “Don’t Call Me Names”:
Says Giddens: “The framework in the song is a love affair, but it can happen in any kind of connection. The real story was accepting my inner strength and refusing to continue being gaslit and held back; and refusing to keep sacrificing my mental health for the sake of anything or anyone.
I don't often write personal songs but this one has stayed with me - it poured out then and has just sat there waiting for the right time. I got a chance to do it with some incredible musicians and a fabulous producer and I'm thrilled it's going to be out in the world; when I listen to it, the anger that I felt then now is the anger I feel at my entire country being gaslit, held back, and sacrificed. We have to keep saying NO to toxic behavior, no matter how small or large the stage, and keep saying it nice and loud.”
Giddens was recently announced as the Artistic Director of Silkroad Ensemble, detailed by the New York Times last month. The cross-cultural music organization was founded over 20 years ago by Yo-Yo Ma. Giddens and Ben Harper also just released their first-ever collaboration, a cover of what is believed to be Nick Drake’s final composition, “Black Eyed Dog.” Listen here.
She also put her own take on the late Bill Withers’ “Just The Two Of Us,” the music video a socially distanced ode to essential workers, and an acknowledgement of the continued isolation of quarantine. Watch via Vanity Fair.
Giddens and her collaborator Francesco Turrisi also recently performed “At The Purchaser’s Option” for The Late Show With Stephen Colbert's #playathome series, and performed an NPR Tiny Desk (From Home) concert from Ireland. She also spoke to Rolling Stone at length about "Rewriting Country Music's Racist History," was included in VICE's recent feature on marginalized voices in bluegrass music, and guest hosted BBC Radio 2’s Blues Show last week.