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Carolina Chocolate Drops

Related threads:
Rhiannon Giddens/Carolina Chocolate Drops (25)
Rhiannon Giddens radio interview today (3)
Obit: Joe Thompson, old-time fiddler 1918-2012 (24)
Carolina Chocolate Drops NPR interview (12)
Carolina Chocolate Drops UK tour (5)
Review: Carolina Chocolate Drops (16)
Carolina Chocolate Drops in Ireland, etc (16)
Carolina Chocolate Drops news article (7)
Do You Know the NC Chocolate Drops/ (11)


Tweed 30 Jan 08 - 02:30 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Jan 08 - 02:38 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 30 Jan 08 - 02:43 PM
Banjiman 30 Jan 08 - 02:48 PM
fat B****rd 30 Jan 08 - 02:56 PM
Wesley S 30 Jan 08 - 02:59 PM
Nerd 30 Jan 08 - 06:02 PM
Arkie 30 Jan 08 - 06:11 PM
bankley 30 Jan 08 - 06:21 PM
Ebbie 30 Jan 08 - 06:21 PM
nickp 30 Jan 08 - 06:28 PM
Tweed 30 Jan 08 - 07:37 PM
nickp 31 Jan 08 - 05:56 AM
nickp 31 Jan 08 - 06:01 AM
Mark Ross 31 Jan 08 - 09:26 AM
fretless 31 Jan 08 - 01:02 PM
fat B****rd 31 Jan 08 - 03:54 PM
Ferrara 31 Jan 08 - 11:46 PM
Stringsinger 01 Feb 08 - 02:21 PM
Ebbie 01 Feb 08 - 02:27 PM
GUEST,fretless 02 Feb 08 - 10:12 PM
GUEST,KT 03 Feb 08 - 03:30 AM
Brian Peters 03 Feb 08 - 06:44 AM
GUEST,fretless 03 Feb 08 - 10:25 AM
wysiwyg 03 Feb 08 - 11:36 AM
GUEST,KT 03 Feb 08 - 09:50 PM
nickp 04 Feb 08 - 04:19 AM
GUEST,Schlongbow 04 Feb 08 - 08:06 AM
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Subject: Carolina Chocolate Drops
From: Tweed
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 02:30 PM

Saw this online a little while ago on a Canadian site. Chocolate Drops did a lot of the music for the Great Debaters movie along with Alvin Youngblood Hart.

Carolina Chocolate Drops keeping past alive
By ALLAN WIGNEY - Sun Media

Until recently, Dom Flemons reflects, he and bandmates Justin Robinson and Rhiannon Giddens were "just normal people that went to work and stuff."

The stuff included indulging in a fascination for music that had included classical violin training for Robinson and for Giddens, operatic studies at the Oberlin Conservatory.

That changed three years ago at the Black Banjo Gathering, an event staged in North Carolina as a celebration of the African roots of the instrument with which Flemons had been busking around his native Arizona. The gathering brought some 600 enthusiasts together, notably the three young musicians who would form The Carolina Chocolate Drops.

Robinson and Giddens, it seems, had by that time fallen off the classical wagon.

"Justin had started playing at fiddle conventions," Flemons explains. "And Rhiannon got burned out on opera and had started going to, and calling, contra dances. From there, she'd started learning the banjo and fiddle."

Blame Dolly Parton, Flemons says. For it was the fiddling finale of Marry Me, a tune from Parton's 2001 bluegrass gem Little Sparrow, that had lured his Carolinian bandmates, musically, back to the Piedmont Foothills of their birth.

"It's a link," Flemons says. "None of us grew up with old-time music in our households. But you hear that fiddle and you want to delve into it a little more. And when you do it's like going into the rabbit hole -- you get lost.

"You hit all this material that's around. Like, I really got into Bob Dylan's early stuff and I started looking up people that were contemporary to him in the New York scene. It just grew from there."

How much it has grown is evident in the old-time feel captured on Dona Got a Ramblin' Mind, the debut album from The Carolina Chocolate Drops. Traditional songs from the Carolinas -- among them folk staples Tom Dula and Dixie -- are presented as they might have been a century or more ago, complete with jug. It is the inspired sound of the resurgence of the stringband.

The black stringband, something that would have been much easier to locate a century or more ago.

"You could still see a lot of examples of black stringband musicians in the early 1920s," Flemons notes. "There were maybe half a dozen that were recorded. But by their second sessions these artists were playing the blues, because that's what was going on.

"You know, you might present whatever you want but the record guy would be like, 'I need to see some blues; people aren't wanting this other stuff.' "

At least, not by blacks. Stringband music has instead been kept alive by white musicians. Flemons admits he has yet to encounter even one young black stringband on his and his group's extensive travels since the 2006 release of Dona Got a Ramblin' Mind.

"We've seen a lot of young black blues players -- acoustic and country blues -- coming up," Flemons reports. "But no stringbands."

Of course, every movement has to start somewhere, and for the Chocolate Drops, it began by going to the source. The bulk of the trio's repertoire comes from that of mentor Joe Thompson, who at 89 is believed to be the last of the original black stringband players.

"Joe has been a big influence on us," Flemons says. "It's very important to meet an older person, no matter what they do. Whether they play music or not, they have more years than you do, and can bring everything they know down to you. That's a connection that's important to make."

Tomorrow, we will have an opportunity to make a connection with The Carolina Chocolate Drops, and with a rich musical tradition. Moreover, by doing so we can be party to that tradition's rebirth.

"That's something other people are going to put on us," Flemons cautiously says of his band's role as torch bearers. "Our job is not to think about whether we are spokespeople for this or that.

"You know, if you want to say, 'You guys are reviving the black stringband tradition,' in the commercial sense we are. But we're not thinking about it like that; we're just making the music and we happen to be a black band.

"Sure, if we can pique interest in anybody, black people would be great. If we could get black people interested in learning the music there would be more black stringbands. But we can't think that hard about those sort of things. The main thing for us is to make music that is solid and that fits what we want to do."


From the Canadian Jam/Showbiz online edition


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Subject: RE: Carolina Chocolate Drops
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 02:38 PM

On NPR- listen-

Carolina Chocolate Drops


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Subject: RE: Carolina Chocolate Drops
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 02:43 PM

Website number changed-
Carolina


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Subject: RE: Carolina Chocolate Drops
From: Banjiman
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 02:48 PM

They're great!

Hear them on MySpace:

http://www.myspace.com/carolinachocolatedrops


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Subject: RE: Carolina Chocolate Drops
From: fat B****rd
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 02:56 PM

Hear, hear ! I've made a mental note to watch out for the film.


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Subject: RE: Carolina Chocolate Drops
From: Wesley S
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 02:59 PM

There was a nice article about them in "Sing Out" a few issues ago. Perhaps it's the same article.


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Subject: RE: Carolina Chocolate Drops
From: Nerd
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 06:02 PM

They were also the cover story in Dirty Linen recently. But this isn't likely to be the same as either magazine article; it's shorter and more in a newspaper style, with one-sentence paragraphs, etc. Great for them to be covered so much.

The two men in the group came into the archive at the American Folklife Center about six weeks ago, and Michael Taft and I gave them a tour of our materials.


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Subject: RE: Carolina Chocolate Drops
From: Arkie
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 06:11 PM

Saw them at Folk Alliance last year.   They played one of the larger rooms and it was full with people standing. Long line for CDs afterward. They did not have enough CDs to satisfy the demand. Good live show, and as I do have a CD, can say they are fun just to listen to as well. Recommend the band highly. All three are personable and good musicians.   Would see them again if I had the chance.


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Subject: RE: Carolina Chocolate Drops
From: bankley
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 06:21 PM

they appeared at the Ottawa Folk Fest in '07... highly entertaining


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Subject: RE: Carolina Chocolate Drops
From: Ebbie
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 06:21 PM

They were the Guest Artists at the Alaska Folk Festival in Juneau last year. They were great. And as Arkie says, they are fun too. Pretty amazing people.


Here is some information on AFF.


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Subject: RE: Carolina Chocolate Drops
From: nickp
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 06:28 PM

Touring the UK in March will add dates tomorrow


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Subject: RE: Carolina Chocolate Drops
From: Tweed
Date: 30 Jan 08 - 07:37 PM

Yaz, Fat Bast**d, see the film. It's one of those movies where the sound track is as good as the rest. The opening Juke Joint music alone is worth the price of admission.


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Subject: RE: Carolina Chocolate Drops
From: nickp
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 05:56 AM

Gigs in the UK, Eire and western Europe. I have booked my tickets for Bristol (it's a small venue and likely to sell out).


Tue 26 Feb Errigle Inn, Belfast
Thu 28 Feb Strule Theatre, Omagh
Fri 29 Feb Bronte Centre, Rathfriland
Sat 1 Mar Seamus Ennis Centre, Naul
Sun 2 Mar Playhouse Theatre, Derry
Mon 3 Mar Maverick @ Zebra, Maidstone
Tue 4 Mar St Bonaventure's, Bristol
Thu 6 Mar North Mundham Village Hall near Chichester
Fri 7 Mar Cluny, Newcastle on Tyne
Sat 8 Mar Tolbooth, Stirling
Sun 9 Mar Memorial Hall, Sheffield TBC
MOn 10 Mar New Morning, Paris, France
Tue 11 Mar Mediator Club, Perpignan, France
Wed 12 Mar Le Jam, Montpellier, France
Thu 13 Mar Blues Autour du Zinc, Beauvais, France
Tue 18 Mar Paradiso, Amsterdam, Holland
Wed 19 Mar Landgoed Roepaen, Ottersum, Holland
Thu 20 Mar Q Bus, Leiden, Holland
Fri 21 Mar N9, Eeklo, Belgium


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Subject: RE: Carolina Chocolate Drops
From: nickp
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 06:01 AM

We saw them about a year ago, with Joe Thompson. They were great. Looking forward to seeing them in their own right. Any old time fans should really try to see them. Nick


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Subject: RE: Carolina Chocolate Drops
From: Mark Ross
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 09:26 AM

They are playing here in Eugene, Oregon on the 20th of this month. I plan to be there.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Carolina Chocolate Drops
From: fretless
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 01:02 PM

I heard them in Virginia last summer, about a week after they were on NPR's Prairie Home Companion. The PHC episode was accessible online, but I don't remember the date or have time to track it down at the moment. In any case, the CCD's are well worth hearing live if you can. Fine OT music, and some more current interpretations as well.

The band got together after meeting at Appalachian State University where, in addition to having a football team that can beat Michigan, there's a great program in Appalachian Studies tht offers BA and MA degrees and has, uniquely in the U.S. I suspect, separate professors of OT and Bluegrass music.


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Subject: RE: Carolina Chocolate Drops
From: fat B****rd
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 03:54 PM

Am listening to them even as I post.


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Subject: RE: Carolina Chocolate Drops
From: Ferrara
Date: 31 Jan 08 - 11:46 PM

Those are great links. I'm glad to know about the myspace page. Their upcoming show schedule is mind boggling. Looks as if I'm going to have to upgrade and get the re-release of "Dona Got a Rambling Mind," which I bought last summer.

Do get to see them if you can. They are terrific performers as well as fine musicians, they have so much energy and love for what they are doing.


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Subject: RE: Carolina Chocolate Drops
From: Stringsinger
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 02:21 PM

This is a healthy trend. We could use some African-American bluegrass bands too.
It breaks down the race barrier in bluegrass and some parts of OT music.

These kids are good. Let's have more African-American banjo pickers, guitar flat pickers,
fiddlers, OT and bluegrass singers and for that matter more Asian and Hispanic also.

When a music becomes confined to a particular race or culture it becomes dormant.
What keeps it from being a stuffy museum piece is an infusion of other cultural musical ideas. (This is what created jazz, and much of what we call folk music these days.)

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Carolina Chocolate Drops
From: Ebbie
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 02:27 PM

Frank, you brought back a memory of mine. Years ago - in the 60s, I think - there was a Country Western band that traveled the circuit on the west coast (Inland as far as Winnemucca but mostly to points in Washington, Oregon, California); each band would spend perhaps a month, or less, in each location.

The country western band was all Chinese. They did a good job too.


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Subject: RE: Carolina Chocolate Drops
From: GUEST,fretless
Date: 02 Feb 08 - 10:12 PM

The CCDs claim to have been inspired by African American fidler Joe Thompson from North Carolina who won a National Heritage Fellowship last year. The CCDs performed with him at the award ceremony.


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Subject: RE: Carolina Chocolate Drops
From: GUEST,KT
Date: 03 Feb 08 - 03:30 AM

They also performed with Joe last year at the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend. They're very, very talented, and so knowlegable. Participating in a workshop presented by Rhiannon, I realized that that kind of talent, beauty and spirit comes with a measure of responsibility as well. They are amazing teachers, and they are indeed, passing it on.

Last year, they taught a group of kids to sing and play "Dona Got A Ramblin' Mind." They brought the house down!!

KT


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Subject: RE: Carolina Chocolate Drops
From: Brian Peters
Date: 03 Feb 08 - 06:44 AM

"The CCDs claim to have been inspired by African American fidler Joe Thompson"

Rhiannon was actually taught by Joe Thompson, which is a bit more concrete than a 'claim' of inspiration.

I've not heard the band but I have a had a bit of a jam with Dom and Rhiannon and, on the basis of that, I'd urge anyone within range of their UK dates to get along.


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Subject: RE: Carolina Chocolate Drops
From: GUEST,fretless
Date: 03 Feb 08 - 10:25 AM

Thanks for the clarification, Brian. The CCDs do a terrific show. If you can get to one of their concerts, do it!

And KT, I hadn't known that they were at the Fiddle Tunes festival last year. I almost got to Port Townsend for that one but the air tix got screwed up. Maybe next year.


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Subject: RE: Carolina Chocolate Drops
From: wysiwyg
Date: 03 Feb 08 - 11:36 AM

Props to the Drops!


Past threads:

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=100139

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=99287

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Carolina Chocolate Drops
From: GUEST,KT
Date: 03 Feb 08 - 09:50 PM

fretless, get those tix in order for this year. It's a great festival!

KT


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Subject: RE: Carolina Chocolate Drops
From: nickp
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 04:19 AM

The CCD do still meet regularly with Joe Thompson and credit him as their main influence.


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Subject: Carolina Chocolate Drops
From: GUEST,Schlongbow
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 08:06 AM

Anyone who has seen these guys and gals play ...woooohoooo

American OT like it should have always been

:0)

Check it out

Chocolate yummie


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