Flynn, Giddens Take Stage at Poplar Knight Spot
The Rooster's Wife presents a pair of folk singers this week from two very disparate backgrounds.
John Flynn, began his professional career as a staff songwriter in Nashville, and moved steadily toward music as a form of social activism.
Grammy winner Rhiannon Giddens was on her way to a promising career in opera when she was bitten by the folk bug, with a historical context.
Sunday evening concerts begin at 6:45 p.m. , with the doors opening at 6 p.m. for general admission seating.
The 100-seat listening room at the corner of Knight and Poplar in downtown Aberdeen features acoustic music of all genres.
In an era of deep division, John Flynn's songs call listeners together as they speak for the wounded, the weary, and the afflicted; for the prisoner, the soldier, and all the forgotten ones who walk unseen in our midst.
"A wordsmith and poet of rare clarity, he evokes our shared humanity as he addresses the times we live in through songs that resound with awareness, irony, humor and compassion," says a spokesman.
North Carolina native Rhiannon Giddens' energy and enthusiasm is hard to contain.
Talents and fascinations, whims and obsessions tumble over each other and pour out in a fiery stage performance rooted in disciplined virtuosity, her operatic training channeled into the freewheeling world of old-time music.
This is her story in a nutshell: Giddens' father was a classically-trained singer whose legacy was a warning not to study voice before the age of 16. So Giddens waited until she was 16 and set off for choral camp. It was great, so she applied to the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio and soon found herself plunging into the deepest part of the classical vocal river - opera.
"I did five operas and three main roles," Giddens says. "I got into it pretty hardcore."
So hardcore that she decided to take some time off. That's when Giddens "eased into the folk world," as she puts it, though, in truth, she had already been sparked by a flyer at Oberlin advertising English Country Dancing.
"I'm a Jane Austen fan and that's what they do in her books," she says. "Turned out to be contra."
Back home, with a day job in graphic design, Giddens began to attend weekly contra dances, moving rapidly from dancing to calling to actually playing the music.
"I decided I wanted to play fiddle, so I went into a store in Greensboro and picked one off the wall, gave it a draw and bought it. It was a cheap Chinese fiddle - hard to play, but that toughens you up."
Fiddle, banjo, and that voice have brought a signature to the Carolina Chocolate Drops that has garnered a Grammy win last year and another nomination this year. Giddens will present her solo work this Sunday.
The Rooster's Wife is a community arts organization dedicated to bringing the best in live music to the Sandhills.
For more information, the complete schedule, or to purchase tickets with credit or debit card, visit theroosterswife.org, call (910) 944-7502 or email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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