Cassandra Wilson: ‘The Guitar Is My Heart’

Written by NPR Staff from National Public Radio

Cassandra Wilson was once described by Time magazine as “America’s best singer.” Wilson was born in segregated Mississippi — also the birthplace of the blues — but she’s always been on a journey to explore other sounds and influences.

The latest stop on her journey is the new album Another Country, a collaboration with Italian-born guitarist Fabrizio Sotti. Wilson says that as a young girl, she was eager to learn the guitar and asked her father to teach her — but he refused.

“He said no — he wouldn’t teach me. He gave me a guitar and a Mel Bay book to learn the chords and teach myself,” Wilson tells NPR’s David Greene. “He did that because I had just finished seven years of piano lessons, and of course piano lessons were very restrictive. And he wanted me to develop a relationship with an instrument that was much more intimate, and a relationship that I initiated.

“It worked out well for me,” she says. “I still love the piano, but the guitar is my heart.”

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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