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The current musical love of my life is Amythyst Kiah, whose recent Wary + Strange has not left my console record player since the day I acquired it. She’s been around for a bit and I’ve been peripherally aware of her for a while—both as a solo act and as part of the Our Native Daughters supergroup (along with Rhiannon Giddens, Leyla McCalla, and Allison Russell)—but this new record showed up in June and it was like some all-new but much-needed thing had arrived to help shake off the past year and a half; one spin on the hi-fi and suddenly everything seemed fresh and new and washed clean, like the way a summer storm knocks the dust off the leaves and leaves behind the fresh scent of petrichor.

That’s some super fancy talk! Anyway. One of my least favorite games is trying to compare one artist to another, but if you’re wondering about the general wheelhouse, it ranges from Armatrading to Etheridge, with a quick visit to Chapman. But Kiah is really her own thing; she’s none of those people more than she is them, so don’t take those comparisons too much to heart.

Wary + Strange is a little bit folk, a lot of roots, and a tiny bit country … and those genres are all mixed up together in an irresistible stew of political and personal songs; I’m hesitant to get too specific about that mix, because she has Things to Tell You and she does it so beautifully that I want you to have the experience of it the same way I did—straight from Amythyst Kiah.

About The Author

DG Strong took up knitting in 2014. He lives in Nashville with his sister, her rat terrier and a hound dog named Opal. He has a blog of drawings and faintly ridiculous rambling called The Psychopedia—there are worse ways to spend your afternoon.


  • DG – Welcome to to the Amythyst Kiah fan club. She attended the Bluegrass program through East TN State University and up here in the Tri-Cities we have watched her career grow and catch fire. She is a a very talented person.

  • What a great voice; at first reminded me of Lenny Kravitz style. Wouldn’t that be a great duet! Thanks, DG!

  • She has a voice that begs your art soul to want more. Amythyst has power, her music resonates deep, very deep.

  • Thanks for giving me a new word. How is it I never heard of petrichor before? And I love your music advice.

  • Fabulous music. Thanks!

  • Thanks for the tip, DG!

  • What a talent and thank you for this post. I immediately went to iTunes and bought Wary+Strange and I subscribed to her website in case she tours down here in north Alabama.

  • What a voice and marvelous energy. I love the magnetic opposites in her lyrics and vocal style. And to top it off she’s wise—has something to say worth hearing.
    Thank you! I’m toddling off to make a purchase, too.

    • My daughter is an ETSU grad so I knew the bluegrass program existed. What a gem they polished in Amythyst Kiah. The voice, lyrics, instruments, she’s something special!

  • WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • My DG Strong appreciation level just rose even higher. This is the first I’ve heard of Amythst Kiah and her voice and this song are terrific.

  • Thank you DG – she is amazing!

  • I adore her so much! She blew my socks off (and those of everyone in a 500 yard radius) at the Brooklyn Folk Festival a few years ago and I’ve been hanging on her every note since! It’s been amazing to hear her music progress!

  • Armantrading, Ethridge AND Chapman! I’ve gotta hear this. Thanks!!

  • Petrichor – great word!

  • My go to knit for listening is socks.

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