The track, written by Amythys Kiah, is the dose of gritty badass power that opens their 2019 LP Songs of Our Native Daughters. Kiah recently joined bandmates Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops), Leyla McCalla, and Allison Russell (Birds of Chicago) for this rousing acoustic rendition of the song. “You look me in the eyes/but you don’t see me,” Kiah sings in rich, powerful tones. It’s raw testimony, heart and soul, defiant within the all too-familiar scenario of being eyed with suspicion and fear because of skin color.
Timing is everything, and technology is fickle, but the band brought it on home on their IG with perfection. But can you imagine how glorious it sounds in person? Our Native Daughters played last year’s Newport Folk Festival, an experience that Kiah described as one of the most heartwarming and spiritually moving ones they’ve had. It was also the last show of their 2019 tour – and one hell of a way to end it.
Keep your ears peeled for a solo album by Kiah, coming out next year. And make plans to catch a solo performance by Kiah on a live stream show presented by The Kennedy Center, on a bill that also features duo The Local Honeys. It kicks off at 3 p.m. (Central) tomorrow, Thursday August 13, on The Kennedy Center’s Facebook, YouTube channel and their website.
-Photography by Anna Hedges.