Opening with the banjo-plucked defiance of a slave’s story and ending with a march down the Staple Singers’ long, bending road towards justice, the new album by Rhiannon Giddens, Freedom Highway, establishes her as a compelling voice of the ongoing struggle for civil rights, an indispensable folklorist and a master of American music who finds inexhaustible inspiration in jazz, blues and the old-time string music she mastered while with the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Her songwriting is in full, fierce flower on this album, as is her vibrato-flecked voice. Giddens has made a clarion call that will move you and refresh your spirit when you need it most – right now.
Recently Seen on Giddens’ Twitter: “I will continue to stand up for the voiceless and to tell the stories of this great nation. If that loses me fans, so be it.”
Watch Giddens perform "Wayfaring Stranger" below:
8 p.m. Monday, September 25. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Boulevard. $30 to $45. 314-726-6161.