Freedom Highway is the response to the call of Freedom that has been ringing for generations. It starts with a powerful melody with Gidden’s voice echoing “You can take my body/You can take my bones/You can take my blood/But not my soul.” Giddens carries the tempo with Come Love Come. Giddens demonstrates her unique vocal control as she switches between deep and soft belts. A key characteristic of folk music is timbre which is a significant component to Giddens’ music.
My personal favorite from the album is “Following the North Star.” In historical context, Harriet Tubman used the Underground Railroad and the North Star as a guide to lead her people to freedom. Imagery from the song depicts the stomping and running of African American feet through secret highways and hidden routes. Refer to the video on the left to witness the greatness, that is Rhiannon Giddens and Rowan Corbett.
Giddens’ “Freedom Highway” demonstrates the singer’s strong vocal ability, social commentary that ties in historical context from the past, and melodic lyrics over banjo and percussion sounds, as seen in “Following the Star.” Giddens’ album serves as the soundtrack to Freedom which dares the audience to answer the call.
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