Rhiannon Giddens ‘The Freedom Highway Tour’ + Special Guests
+ Jordan Mackampa
Tickets on sale 10am, Friday 9th December with:
Tickets on sale with:
Above with Music Glue (e-tickets only)
See Tickets / 0871 220 0260
Ticketmaster / 0333 321 9999
Songkick (e-tickets only)
Doors, Bar and Margins Cafe serving hot homemade food open at 19:00
Curfew - 22:30
Union Chapel Bar open after the show.
You can book for dinner at Margins Cafe at 18:30 but you must have a reservation for access at 18:30. The Bar is also open to Union Chapel members who have tickets to the show.
Access to the cafe before doors open is via the side gate to the left of the main entrance to the Chapel on Compton Terrace.
We will email the menu and add it to the listing here shortly before the show.
If the early 6.30pm reservations are fully booked don't worry you can still come to eat from when doors open, the cafe is open through to the end of the interval.
Please note you must have a ticket to the show to come to Margins Cafe & Union Chapel bar.
There's lots of useful information in the Visiting section of our website.
As our venue is entirely seated and seating is unreserved it is best to arrive early.
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Tomorrow Is My Turn
It was toward the end of the T Bone Burnett–curated September 2013 Another Day, Another Time concert at New York City’s Town Hall—a celebration of the early ’60s folk revival that had inspired the Joel and Ethan Coen film Inside Llewyn Davis—when singer Rhiannon Giddens indisputably stole the show.
Performing Odetta’s “Water Boy” with, as the New York Times put it, “the fervor of a spiritual, the yips of a folk holler, and the sultry insinuation of the blues,” Giddens brought the star-studded audience to its feet. She was the talk of the lobby during intermission as those attendees unfamiliar with her Grammy Award–winning work as a member of African-American folk interpreters Carolina Chocolate Drops wondered who exactly Rhiannon Giddens was, with her elegant bearing, prodigious voice, and fierce spirit. Backstage, Burnett already knew the answer and was immediately moved to ask if she was ready to make her own record. “It was clear the first time I heard her at rehearsal that Rhiannon is next in a long line of singers that includes Marian Anderson, Ethel Waters, Rosetta Tharp, Odetta, Mahalia Jackson, Nina Simone,” Burnett says. “We need that person in our culture. She is, in fact, that person in our culture.”On her Nonesuch solo debut Tomorrow Is My Turn, Giddens and Burnett revisit “Water Boy,” its Odetta-arranged work-song rhythm serving as both provocation and a statement of power. Giddens delivers an equally thunderous rendition, one made all the more striking when placed between a gentle, ruminative
interpretation of Dolly Parton’s “Don’t Let It Trouble Your Mind” and a version of Hank Cochran’s “She’s Got You,” popularized by Patsy Cline, that Giddens imbues with “an old-timey R&B vibe,”abetted by Carolina Chocolate Drops band-mate Hubby Jenkins. The breadth of musical vision on Tomorrow Is My Turn fulfills the promise of that brief but stunning star turn at Town Hall. The album incorporates gospel, jazz, blues, and country, plus a hint of proto-rock and roll, and Giddens displays an emotional range to match her dazzling vocal prowess throughout.
Reviving, interpreting, and recasting traditional material from a variety of sources has been central to Giddens’ career, especially in her groundbreaking work with the Carolina Chocolate Drops (CCDs). With their two Nonesuch albums, the CCDs have investigated and promoted the foundational role African-American performers and songwriters have played in folk-music history, while making recordings that are
vital, contemporary, and exuberant.
With Tomorrow Is My Turn, Giddens has embarked on a more personal sort of journey, but with a nod towards history as well. She’s chosen from a broad array of songs associated with the female artists who are her musical and spiritual forebears and fashioned an album that serves both as patchwork autobiography and as a subtle tribute to these artists and their often hard-won legacies.
Giddens charts a clear path through Tomorrow Is My Turn: “We start off with the unknown and end up with the specific.” Opening track “Last Kind Words” dates back to a rare 1930 78 “race record” and a largely unknown singer named Geeshie Wiley. To Giddens, “The timbre of the singer’s voice, the uniqueness of the chord structure…it reminds me of my grandmother and that era.”Though she had recorded more songs than could fit on the final album, Giddens and Burnett spent considerable time pondering a track sequence could best help tell the story Giddens was constructing. It wasn’t until they decided at the 11th hour to cut “Last Kind Words”—a song they’d come across independent of each other—that they found the focus they’d been searching for. As Giddens explains, “I made the record with the idea of these songs either written or performed by American women. It’s sort of a survey. We know a lot about most of the people represented on the record, but I thought it would be really cool to open up with ‘Last Kind Words’ because most people have no idea who Geeshie was or what she did; it kind of represents every woman from her time, every unknown black woman toiling away. I really liked that idea. Who knows how many more were making incredible music, and writing incredible songs like that, living these lives?”