Signature Sounds Presents
The Backstage Sessions at Signature Sounds: Kelly McCartney with Amythyst Kiah
Apple Music’s Record Bin Radio host Kelly McCartney with rising star and a Signature Sounds' favorite Amythyst Kiah
Sunday, February 21st at 8pm, ET
One of the luckiest things about working in music is the unforgettable life of backstage conversation. The off-handed chat of musicians and old friends, crossing paths out on the road, of radio personalities interviewing stars, of promoters chatting with players in green rooms, well into the small hours. This winter, on all the cold and locked-down Sunday nights, we’re bringing you behind the scenes for a new online series called the Backstage Sessions. We asked some of our favorite industry friends—dj's, music writers, podcast hosts, festival promoters, even musicians and dancers themselves—to choose an artist they'd love to talk to. Each Sunday is a different pairing, with conversation and unexpected music.The series is online at www.signaturesoundspresents.com. It’s by donation. So if you’re broke, come for free. Rolling in it? Throw in a $20 or more. The majority of the income goes to the interviewer and artist, or to a cause of their choice. The rest goes to keeping the Sig Sounds crew working till we can reopen our doors. The Backstage Sessions will run from January 2021-April 2021.
Stream it here: signaturesounds.com/homesessions
With a style that is equal parts personal, political, and philosophical, Kelly McCartney inhabits a purposely intersectional corner of the roots music space, making her one of the format’s favorite commentators and curators. As a journalist, Kelly has contributed to No Depression, NPR Music, Folk Alley, Stereogum, and other outlets. She also spent over four years hosting/producing the Hangin' & Sangin' podcast/radio show and now hosts Apple Music's Record Bin Radio. Her passion for music and its makers is palpable, making her the perfect tour guide for listeners looking to explore and expand their musical horizons. When not promoting artists in a public-facing way, Kelly continues that work as executive director of the Rainey Day Fund, a grant fund which supports marginalized artists in the roots music space.
Born in Chattanooga and based in Johnson City, Amythyst Kiah’s commanding stage presence is matched by her raw and powerful vocals—a deeply moving, hypnotic sound that stirs echoes of a distant and restless past.
Accompanied interchangeably with banjo, acoustic guitar, or a full band, her eclectic influences span decades, finding inspiration in old time music, alternative rock, folk, country, and blues.
Our Native Daughters, her recent collaboration with Rhiannon Giddens, Leyla McCalla, and Allison Russell (Birds of Chicago), has delivered a full-length album produced by Rhiannon Giddens and Dirk Powell, Songs of Our Native Daughters (out now on Smithsonian Folkways). NPR described the opening track, Black Myself, written by Amythyst, as “the simmering defiance of self-respect in the face of racism.” The song was nominated for a Grammy for Best American Roots Song. The supergroup hit the road in July 2019 with a series of special dates that included performances at Washington D.C.’s Smithsonian Museum of African American History & Culture as well as Newport Folk Festival. The group was nominated for Duo/Group of the Year at the 2019 Americana Honors & Awards. Black Myself won 2019 Song of the Year at the Folk Alliance International Conference.
Provocative and fierce, Amythyst’s ability to cross boundaries is groundbreaking and simply unforgettable. Her stylistic range will be on full display in her next full-length album expected in 2021. Amythyst regularly tours the United Kingdom and has performed at Celtic Connections, Southern Fried Festival, Cambridge Folk Festival, the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, and SummerTyne Americana Festival. She is a crowd favorite at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion in the U.S. and has shined at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Smithsonian Folk Life Festival, Winnipeg Folk Festival, and opening for artists such as the Indigo Girls, Rhiannon Giddens, Dom Flemons, Old Crow Medicine Show, First Aid Kit, Darrell Scott, and Tim O’Brien.
The Backstage Sessions will run from January 2021-April 2021