Rhiannon Giddens has released a new music video and recording of “Just The Two Of Us,” her take on the Bill Withers classic. The video features photos and videos taken by friends and family in quarantine, and workers in the North Carolina UNC and NY-Presbyterian healthcare systems. Giddens spoke to Vanity Fair about it today, read the piece here: https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2020/05/rhiannon-giddens-just-the-two-of-us-interview
The recording features longtime collaborator Sxip Shirey on harmonica and electronics.
Watch the video for “Just The Two Of Us” here: https://smarturl.it/JustTheTwoOfUs
“We made this song in a very un-socially distanced time, a few years ago when our paths crossed in New York - it sat, untouched in our vaults since then. When Bill Withers passed, we suddenly remembered we had made this beautiful version of ‘Just The Two of Us,’ and thought it would serve as the perfect backdrop to the reality of where we are now - staying inside so that our healthcare workers have the best chance to fight this virus that cares nothing for the artificial divisions we have put up between us. So whether it's just the two of us, or just a few of us; whether the lockdown has been for months or it’s about to be lifted; Covid-19 is here for the foreseeable future, and the more we can be alone together now, the better the future will be.”
Proceeds from the sales of the song will go to Global Giving’s Coronavirus Relief Fund. More info here: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/coronavirus-relief-fund/
Giddens also recently launched Art Is Alive: A COVID-19 Directory of Give and Take. The website collects and lists resources for artists and those willing to help them. It also has links and resources for fostering awareness, togetherness, and hope for the creative freelance communities affected by the pandemic. Art Is Alive lays out donation opportunities, sources of available funding, a full and ever-evolving list of official insights and information, as well as a breakdown of platforms offering at-home performance opportunities. The site aims to connect artists to fans in the current stay-at-home climate.
In Departures Magazine’s recent profile on Giddens, she’s described as “one of the most prominent folk stars of the past decade.” She graced a recent Garden & Gun Magazinecover as well, and described seeing Kendrick Lamar in the NY Times’ African American Art Shaping the 21st Century piece that ran last month.
“Just The Two Of Us” credits:
Rhiannon Giddens – vocals
Sxip Shirey – harmonica and electronics
John Altieri – sousaphone
Attis Clopton – drums
Don Godwin – valve trombone