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Amythyst Kiah

Born in Chattanooga and based in Johnson City, Tennessee, Amythyst Kiah has been called "one of roots music's most exciting emerging talents" by Rolling Stone. Amythyst has a commanding stage presence that's 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 spawned a full-length album produced by 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."

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