In her solo work and with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Giddens has helped shepherd the revival of the black string band tradition in American consciousness.
Claire Harbage and Angela Hsieh/NPR
To create Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes, T Bone Burnett (third from left) assembled the talents of Elvis Costello, Jim James, Jay Bellerose, Rhiannon Giddens, Marcus Mumford and Taylor Goldsmith.
Courtesy of the artist
Two of the three members of Carolina Chocolate Drops are classically trained: Rhiannon Giddens (left) studied opera at the Oberlin Conservatory and Justin Robinson (center) studied classical violin. Dom Flemons (right) studied guitar and slam poetry.