Saturday, October 8, 2011

Carolina Chocolate Drops

The Carolina Chocolate Drops are an old-time string band from Durham, North Carolina, United States. Formed in November 2005 following the members' attendance at the Black Banjo Gathering in Boone, North Carolina, the group is one of the few remaining African American string bands. There are three members: Rhiannon Giddens, Dom Flemons, and Justin Robinson, who were all in their twenties when the group formed. All of the musicians sing and trade instruments including banjo, fiddle, guitar, harmonica, snare drum, bones, jug, and kazoo. The group learned much of their repertoire, which is based on the traditional music of the Piedmont region of North and South Carolina, from the eminent African American old-time fiddler Joe Thompson, although they also perform old-time versions of some modern songs such as Blu Cantrell's R&B hit "Hit 'em Up Style (Oops!)."

The Carolina Chocolate Drops have released at least three CDs (in 2006, 2008, and 2010) and have opened for Taj Mahal. They have performed on Mountain Stage and at the Mount Airy Fiddlers Convention. Additionally they have performed on Fresh Air and BBC Radio in early 2010 and at the 2010 Bonnaroo music festival in Manchester, Tennessee.

On February 7, 2011, the band announced that beatboxer Adam Matta and multi-instrumentalist Hubby Jenkins would be joining the band, while Justin Robinson would be departing.

Their 2010 album, Genuine Negro Jig, won a Grammy in the best traditional folk album category, and was number 9 in FRoots magazine's top 10 albums of 2010.

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