Amadou & Mariam, Carolina Chocolate Drops to Perform Free Central Park SummerStage Concerts
The schedule for the 2012 season of Central Park SummerStage concerts has been announced, and among the performers taking to the stage in the heart of New York City's Central Park this summer are Amadou & Mariam, on August 4, and Carolina Chocolate Drops, on August 11. Theophilus London, a contributor on Amadou & Mariam's recently released new album, Folila, joins the Malian duo for their SummerStage concert; Buckwheat Zydeco and Abigail Washburn join Carolina Chocolate Drops for theirs. Both shows begin at 3 PM and are free and open to the public. The concerts are two of the scores of free SummerStage events organized by the City Parks Foundation this season. For the complete concert schedule, go to summerstage.org.
Amadou & Mariam will be touring North America this summer to celebrate the release of Folila, which New York Daily News music critic Jim Farber places at No. 1 on his list of the Top Ten things in music this week. The duo's already announced concerts include headlining dates at the Paradise in Boston, Capitol Theater in Madison, and Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis; festival sets at Lollapalooza in Chicago, Outside Lands in San Francisco, and Osheaga in Montreal; and an opening spot for singer/songwriter Andrew Bird at the Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre in Salt Lake City. For additional details, go to nonesuch.com/on-tour; check back for more dates as they are announced.
Carolina Chocolate Drops, whose own new album, Leaving Eden, was released on Nonesuch earlier this year, were part of an all-star celebration of Jonny Cash's 80th birthday at the Moody Theater in Austin, Texas, on Friday. The group "added their gritty bluegrass sound to 'Jackson,'" Rolling Stone reports, adding this from Ronnie Dunn of Brooks and Dunn: "The Carolina Chocolate Drops just came out of left field for me, and I was so impressed with what they did on 'Jackson.'" They are in London this week to perform on Later ... with Jools Holland on BBC Two and will return to the States to perform at the New Orleans Jazz Fest this weekend.
The band has just announced that it will take part in Mountain Song at Sea, the biggest bluegrass festival at sea next February. The cruise sets sail from February 1 through 4 and heads from Miami to Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, featuring music from the Chocolate Drops, Del McCoury Band, Steep Canyon Rangers, and more. For details, go to mountainsongatsea.com. For information on other upcoming shows from the Drops, head to nonesuch.com/on-tour.