Corinne Bailey Rae: 2024

Corinne Bailey Rae and bandmates (photo by Gus Philippas for FUV)
by Kara Manning | 03/18/2024 | 12:01am

Corinne Bailey Rae and bandmates (photo by Gus Philippas for FUV)

Corinne Bailey Rae and her band have been touring nonstop in support of her astonishing 2023 album Black Rainbows, a collection of songs inspired by years of research and a residency at Chicago's Stony Island Arts Bank, founded by American artist and academic Theaster Gates as an archives, library, performance space, and gallery for Black culture, literature, music, and history.

Rae is not only an acclaimed Grammy-winning singer and songwriter, but an equally brilliant and edifying conversationalist (on the day of our FUV Live session, she also led an afternoon workshop at New York University). I had first spoken to her about Black Rainbows in a "UKNY" chat late last year, but to expand on that dialogue with live performance was an exciting, full-circle moment. Coming off of a February Blue Note residency in New York, Corinne was joined by her husband Stephen Brown (keys), Myke Wilson (drums), Kyle Bolden (guitar), Aaron Burnett (sax) and Alita Moses (vocals) and they played three songs from Black Rainbows: "Red Horse," "New York Transit Queen," and "Peach Velvet Sky."

In conversation, Corinne delved more deeply into the long development of this important album and the stories behind her songs  — there's a second volume planned — and how this chapter of her life has altered her path moving forward. Rae and Brown's two young daughters accompanied them on this US trip, with a touring nanny keeping a watchful eye, but the little girls had the lucky chance to see their parents working.

Corinne has more shows planned for 2024 — including the Glastonbury Festival in June and another New York date to be announced — and a book as well, Reflections/Refractions at the Stony Island Arts Bank, a collaboration with photographer Koto Bolofo.

[Recorded: 2/21/24; Engineered by Jim O'Hara; produced by Meghan Offtermatt]

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