It has been a stressful day so far at Corporate Hell. So much so, that I am actually choosing to go out and run. And seeing as how it’s currently 25° (feels like 32°) with 69% humidity, that must give you an idea of how badly I needed to get away from my laptop. And seeing as how it’s been exactly 29 days since my last run (and even then I walked a good portion of it), well, let’s just say I have a lot of catching up to do. So where I usually wouldn’t lace up my shoes for anything less that 7-8 kilometers, it’s definitely a slow and easy pace this afternoon over a very short 5.25k, with some drills (and walking recovery intervals) thrown in for good measure.
Big fucking whoop.
Basically, I’m starting over at this point.
The upside to all this is that I have something nice to listen to in the debut album by Rhiannon Giddens, ‘Tomorrow Is My Turn‘.
Released on Nonesuch Records back in 2015, the album was produced by none other than T-Bone Burnett…so you just know that it’s not going to suck. And it doesn’t. In fact, it was even nominated for Best Folk Album at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards. I was first introduced by Rhiannon years ago when she was part of the country, blues and old-time music band Carolina Chocolate Drops, playing violin, banjo, “flat-footin'” dancin’ and lead singin’. They were totally amazing and blew me away at the Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance years ago when Uncle Lance and I attended on one of our “Gay-cations”. I’ve been a fan ever since.
Giddens previously worked with Burnett on ‘Lost on the River‘, an album where musicians added new music to lyrics Bob Dylan left behind during ‘The Basement Tapes‘, and she also appeared in a concert he shepherded for the Coen brothers’ folk revival opus ‘Inside Llewyn Davis‘ – two projects steeped in history, as is this album.
Here, Giddens expands upon the neo-string band of the Carolina Chocolate Drops by crafting an abbreviated and fluid history of 20th century roots music – along with the older forms that informed it – concentrating on songs either written or popularized by female musicians. As a torchbearer, not a revivalist, Giddens isn’t concerned with replicating either the sound or feel of the past, so she comfortably slips a subdued hip-hop drum loop into ‘Black Is the Color‘, a standard here credited to Nina Simone, and blurs country and soul boundaries on Patsy Cline’s ‘She’s Got You‘. These two are the most overt tamperings with tradition but Giddens is sly throughout ‘Tomorrow Is My Turn‘, giving Elizabeth Cotten’s ‘Shake Sugaree‘ a deceptively lively little lilt and casting Dolly Parton’s ‘Don’t Let It Trouble Your Mind‘ as a rolling progressive folk tune that creates an invisible bridge between past and present.
In short, it’s an amazing listen and definitely among the highlights of 2015. My run, however, was not so stellar. In fact, it was hot, humid and painful…made only worse that I am now lugging around about an extra 10lbs of holiday vacation fat (ie. BBQ and beer). It’s going to a long way to go to regain my run fitness so these first few kilometers were the beginning of that renewed focus.