During rehearsals for the Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis concert, T Bone Burnett, the musical director, approached Rhiannon Giddens and suggested that they record an album together.
The result is the gorgeous Tomorrow is My Turn, which shows off the full singing range and power of the frontwoman for innovative string-band trio the Carolina Chocolate Drops.
Classically-trained Giddens, 37, puts her own stamp and emotional authenticity on cover versions of songs by an eclectic range of writers. There's a fiery version of the Odetta-inspired Waterboy and she also pays tribute to forgotten women musicians such as Geeshie Wiley and Elizabeth Cotten.
Giddens shows she can sing country music with great warmth in a version of Patsy Cline's She's Got You and delivers a stunning version of a Dolly Parton song. What I particularly liked about that cover was that she tackles one of the lesser-known songs from Parton – Don’t Let It Trouble Your Mind from 1969 – and absolutely nails it. There is also a very non-Dubliners like take on the traditional song O Love is Teasin', which brings out the baleful qualities of the lyrics.
The title song, Tomorrow Is My Turn, was inspired by Nina Simone’s reading of the song. It is yet another treat on an exceptional record, released on Nonesuch.