Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi have won the Grammy for Folk Album of the year for their stunning album, They’re Calling Me Home, conceived and produced during lockdown in their adopted Irish home.
The critically acclaimed album, released in 2021, showcases Gidden’s amazing vocal prowess and Turrisi’s wonderful instrumental versatility in a remarkable collection of songs – some traditional and some original – around the themes of home and death – reflecting two of the major concerns of the pandemic – especially for those separated from loved ones as both the American-born Giddens and the Italian-born Turrisi were.
“Exploring the emotions brought up by the moment, Giddens and Turrisi decamped to Hellfire, a small studio on a working farm outside of Dublin, to record these songs over six days.”
Between the classic bluegrass title track which opens the album and the great gospel standard, Amazing Grace, which closes it, the duo present an eclectic musical experience delivered with profound emotional power and great technical accomplishment. These tracks include Monteverdi’s Si Dolce è’l Tormento – reflecting Giddens’ previous operatic training – the folk classic When I Was in My Prime, the old time song Black As Crow, the gospel blues O Death, the Italian lullbaby Nenna Nenna and the remarkable original song, Avalon, which was also nominated for a Grammy for Best American Roots Song.
Credit, too, to Mayo flute player and piper, Emer Mayock, who lends her talents to Black As Crow.
The Grammy is the second for Giddens: her first came as a member of The Carolina Chocolate Drops. It is also the second time that Giddens and Turrisi have been nominated as a duo. Their first album together, there is no Other, also eceived a Grammy nomination. It was also recorded in Dublin.