In a couple of days, the Nashville singer Adia Victoria will release A Southern Gothic, her new album of cinematic, atmospheric blues. Victoria recorded the LP last year during quarantine, while listening to old Alan Lomax field recordings and thinking about the history of American music. We’ve already posted the early single “Magnolia Blues,” and now Victoria has shared her version of “You Was Born To Die,” an old blues song most associated with Blind Willie McTell. In her version of the song, Victoria had help from some friends.
Victoria’s version of “You Was Born To Die” features a stomp-ass guitar solo from Jason Isbell. (Victoria also appears on Isbell’s forthcoming covers album Georgia Blue.) Victoria shares vocals on the song with Margo Price and the powerful singer Kyshona Armstrong, and all three of them sing the hell out of it. Isbell, Price, and Armstrong all appear in the video. So does T Bone Burnett, executive producer of A Southern Gothic. Watch the video below.
In a press release, Victoria says:
Last year, the lessons I have learned on my walk in the blues — the business of love, lies, loss and spectacular death — surrounded my every waking though like armor. In a society that attempts so suppress death into the unspoken, the blues has allowed me to death in dance’s face and sing her entire name.
“You Was Born To Die” is a celebration of the impermanence of any imprint we hope in vain to leave on this world. Like any blues worth the name, it is an invitation to stand apart and stare askew back on a world become ridiculous.
I asked Kyshona and Margo Price to me in the Blueswomen work of singing herself beyond the regard of their men.
I invited Jason Isbell to join us in these blues because he make a guitar talk like it can speak to the devil.
A Southern Gothic is out 9/18 on Canvasback.