15 October 2022

Rhiannon Giddens: a new book series on American music

A major interview with Rhiannon Giddens appeared a week ago on the Bluegrass Situation (BGS) online magazine: 'Through the lens of American music, Rhiannon Giddens tells her story'. As the interviewer, David Menconi, (author of Step it up and go: the story of North Carolina popular music (2020)) points out in his introduction, the number of fields in which she is both active and outstanding is remarkable.

On the telephone from Ireland, she speaks about what moves her in her recent projects, notably her new book for children, Build a house, published this month at a RRP of $17.99. The book includes a link to a recording of her song 'Build a house', performed with her minstrel-style banjo and with the great cellist Yo-Yo Ma. The video of it can be heard and seen on BGS and on YouTube. Build a house is the first book in a series, of which the second will be We could fly; the third, Joe's first fiddle, based on what she learned from Joe Thompson (1918-2012); and the fourth is to be about the banjo.

© Richard Hawkins

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