Listen to 'Waterbound,' a new song from Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi

Rhiannon Giddens - Waterbound (with Francesco Turrisi) (Rhiannon Giddens)

Is there someone you've longed to visit but haven't been able to because of the pandemic? Then this newly released track from Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi will particularly resonate with you.

In the song "Waterbound," a traditional fiddle tune, Giddens sings: "Waterbound, and I can't get home, down to North Carolina," expressing a sense of longing for home and family. It's a theme that certainly rings true for Giddens and Turrisi — who are originally from North Carolina and from Italy, respectively — as they've been at home in their adopted country of Ireland, unable to visit relatives since at least March of 2020, due to the pandemic.

"'Waterbound' is a song I learned a long time ago," Giddens says, "and it brings me forcefully home to North Carolina when I sing it, and considering that I am, indeed waterbound, and have been for a long time, it's a rare moment when a folk song represents exactly my situation in time."

The song, recorded in a studio on a working farm outside Dublin, features Giddens on vocals and fiddle, Turrisi on percussion and Niwel Tsumbu on guitar. The accompanying video was alternately shot in that studio as well as on the shore of the Irish Sea in County Wicklow. "Waterbound" is the second song to be released from Giddens' forthcoming album, They're Calling Me Home, releasing April 9 on Nonesuch Records.

As a traditional tune, the exact origin of "Waterbound" is apocryphal. It was recorded in 1929 by the Virginia group Field Ward's Buck Mountain Band. Another version of the song, performed by the Ballard Branch Bogtrotters, was recorded by folklorist Alan Lomax in 1937. Like the best folk songs, there's a timelessness to the emotions expressed within. In an interview in Rolling Stone magazine, Giddens explained, "You know how singing sad songs makes you feel better in this weird way? Themes of death and homesickness and leaving and loss in all these old traditional songs, they express things so well and so simply. Generations of people have gone through things as bad or worse for many, many, many years, and these songs connect us to those generations."

External Link

Rhiannon Giddens - official site

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  • Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi
    Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi (Karen Cox)