Born in Chattanooga and now based in Johnson City, Amythyst Kiah’s commanding stage presence is matched by her raw and powerful vocals—a deeply moving, hypnotic sound that stirs echoes of a distant and restless past.
Whether accompanied by banjo, acoustic guitar, or a full band, it’s evident that her eclectic influences span decades, with inspiration from 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 delivered a full-length album produced by Rhiannon 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.” The supergroup hit the road in July 2019 with a series of special dates that included performances at Washington DC’s Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Newport Folk Festival. Most recently, the group has been nominated for Duo/Group of the Year at the 2019 Americana Honors & Awards.
Amythyst regularly tours the United Kingdom and has performed at Celtic Connections, Southern Fried Festival, Cambridge Folk Festival, the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, and SummerTyne Americana Festival. She is a crowd favorite at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion in the United States and has shined at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Winnipeg Folk Festival, and opening for artists such as the Indigo Girls, Rhiannon Giddens, Dom Flemons, Old Crow Medicine Show, First Aid Kit, Darrell Scott, and Tim O'Brien.
Provocative and fierce, Amythyst crosses boundaries in a way that is groundbreaking and simply unforgettable.