Episode 268: Rhiannon Giddens

“You Louisiana Man”

Rhiannon Giddens has released five solo albums since 2015. Before that, she was a member of the Grammy-winning band, the Carolina Chocolate Drops. She is now also the artistic director of the Silkroad Ensemble, the musical supergroup that Yo-Yo Ma founded.

Rhiannon Giddens is one of those people where I feel like they have to start inventing new awards, because she’s already won all of them. She’s got multiple Grammys, she won the Pulitzer Prize for an opera she co-wrote called Omar, she’s a MacArthur Genius, and the new Beyonce song “Texas Hold ‘Em,” the one that features the banjo? That’s Rhiannon Giddens playing the banjo. (I guess that’s not technically an award, but it feels like one to me.)

In 2023, Rhiannon released an album called You’re the One, and I talked to her about the song she wrote called “You Louisiana Man,” which was nominated for a Grammy for Best American Roots Performance.

You can buy or stream “You Louisiana Man” here.

For a transcript of this episode, click here.

Illustration by Carlos Lerma.

Jack Splash – producer
Niwel Tsumbu – acoustic guitar
Oberlin Conservatory of Music
Contra dance (versus English country dance)
Freedom Highway
Fretless banjo