In the thrum of a cello and the twang of a banjo, Rhiannon Giddens and Leyla McCall brought a slice of the Deep South to Sheffield.
Hailing from Carolina, Giddens and McCall play American folk of all flavours; Cajun, creole, blues and roots, mixed with Haitian folk songs. I have never seen anyone play cello like McCall. She strums, plucks and bows, waltzing through reels and jigs and driving a powerful beat through the laments. Giddens is just as accomplished on the fiddle, blurred fingers playing intricate melodies or strumming boot stomping rhythms. The songs celebrated the history of life in the Deep South and Haiti; harvests and hunger, dancing and dying.
A rare treat for a rainy night in Sheffield.
Pic by Mike Taylor