Carolina Chocolate Drops

Carolina Chocolate Drops

Carolina Chocolate Drops

Dona Got a Ramblin’ Mind

Music Maker

North Carolina’s Piedmont region provides inspiration to the Carolina Chocolate Drops, a group of young, African American musicians who are trying to keep the nearly extinct, early 20th century string band traditions of the region alive. These fiddle and banjo tunes may sound simple and repetitive but they are deceptively intricate in their rhythms. And though the sound may be as old as the hills, it’s clear how much of it survives in the music we listen to today from blues to country to rock and roll.

Ranging in age from 25 to 30, the band began their musical journey by seeking the tutelage of Joe Thompson, who is believed to be the last black traditional string band player. Arizona native Dom Flemons contributes harmonica, guitar, banjo and jug to the band’s sound. North Carolina products Justin Robinson and Rhiannon Giddens both play the fiddle and Giddens handles some banjo duties as well. All three contribute vocals.

All those sawing fiddles and similar sounding tunes make a little of this go a long way. Still, it’s a noble goal to keep this music alive for future generations and to remember where our music traditions come from. And with the accomplished players of Carolina Chocolate Drops, the music appears to be in good hands.

Carolina Chocolate Drops:, Music Maker:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Gregg Allman, RIP
    Gregg Allman, RIP

    Michelle Wilson gives tribute to the voice of an angel. Gregg Allman, RIP.

  • Preservation Hall Jazz Band
    Preservation Hall Jazz Band

    So It Is (Legacy). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Justin Townes Earle
    Justin Townes Earle

    Kids In The Street (New West Records). Review by James Mann.

  • From Montenegro to Moldova: The Best of SEEFest 2017
    From Montenegro to Moldova: The Best of SEEFest 2017

    For the twelfth year, the South East European Film Festival (SEEfest) in Los Angeles showcased an impressive lineup of new features and shorts. Lily and Generoso Fierro provide a festival wrap up and their picks for the films that you cannot miss.

  • Christian Scott
    Christian Scott

    Rebel Ruler (Ropeadope / Stretch Music). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Kivanç Sezer
    Kivanç Sezer

    Turkish director Kivanç Sezer’s powerful debut feature, My Father’s Wings, puts the spotlight on the workplace safety crisis that is currently taking place in his homeland. Lily and Generoso Fierro spoke with Sezer at SEEFest 2017 about his film and his need to draw attention to this issue.

  • Temples

    Supporting their just-released sophomore record, UK synth-pop poster boys, Temples, attracted an SRO crowd to one of Orlando’s premier nightspots.

  • Rat Film
    Rat Film

    Baltimore. Rats. A match made in Maryland.

  • Bishop Briggs
    Bishop Briggs

    Bishop Briggs brings a stacked bill of up and comers to Orlando for a sold-out party at The Social. Jen Cray joins in the fun.

  • Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World
    Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World

    There’s more than black music influencing the evolution of Rock and Roll. Native American rhymes and ideas are every bit as significant, once you know to look for them.

From the Archives