This week on Cyprus Avenue, join host Bill Shapiro as he serves up another cup of American musical gumbo. Featuring a new release from the Carolina Chocolate Drops and much more.
The Carolina Chocolate Drops is a string band made up of four young musicians, all hailing from the South. The band formed when original members Rhiannon Giddons, Dom Flemons, and Justin Robinson met at the Black Banjo Gathering in 2005 in North Carolina. The three, bringing together classical training and keen interests in traditional music, decided to form a group focused on playing in the style of Piedmont string music traditional in North and South Carolina.
Part of the novelty of the group is the rarity of African American groups playing in this genre. It is more often thought of as the music of Appalachia, but the group's members were interested in the black roots of banjo-playing and other country music, which is what brought them together at the Black Banjo Gathering. Another of The Carolina Chocolate Drops' unique characteristics is the array of instruments they use. The fiddle, upright bass, guitar, mandolin, and banjo are fundamental to their sound, but they also use kazoos, jugs, bones, and with the addition of Hubby Jenkins and Adam Matta, a smattering of new instruments and...beat boxing (Justin Robinson has left the group). Genuine Negro Jig, their 2010 release, won a Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album. Their new album, Leaving Eden, was released February 28.
Hear song samples from Leaving Eden, and more modern examples of traditional-style southern music, in the videos below via Youtube.
Carolina Chocolate Drops/Leaving Eden-Riro’s House
Heritage Blues Orchestra/And Still I Rise-Get Right Church
Rev. Roger L. Worthy/Fire In My Bones- Get Back Satan
Carolina Chocolate Drops/Leaving Eden-Country Girl
Don Byron New Gospel Quintet/Love, Peace and Soul-Beams of Heaven
Heritage Blues Orchestra/And Still I Rise-C-Line Woman
Carolina Chocolate Drops/Leaving Eden-Boodie De Bum Bum
Don Byron New Gospel Quintet/Love, Peace and Soul-Consideration
Heritage Blues Orchestra/And Still I Rise-Chilly Jordan
Rev. Robert Ballinger/Fire In My Bones- So Glad
Carolina Chocolate Drops/Leaving Eden-Ruby, are You Mad At Your Man
Don Byron New Gospel Quintet/Love, Peace and Soul-Didn’t It Rain
Heritage Blues Orchestra/And Still I Rise-Don’t Ever Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down