Carolina Chocolate Drops' "Fret-Board Fingers Traveled Miles" in "Often Thrilling" Show, Says LA Times
Carolina Chocolate Drops brought their US tour featuring music from their new album, Leaving Eden, to California over the weekend for three stops with special guest David Wax Museum: at UCLA's Royce Hall on Friday, Slim’s in San Francisco on Saturday, and the Mystic Theater in Petaluma on Sunday.
While with each of their concerts, the band provides historical context for the music they perform. Rich as this is, it's "nothing compared to the guitar-banjo-fiddle-cello groove the quartet created in the first four bars of the first song, 'Kerr’s Negro Jig,'” writes Los Angeles Times music critic Randall Roberts of Friday night's show. "These are not only obsessive music-historians but also expert players whose fret-board fingers traveled miles over the course of the night. On 'Hit ’Em Up Style,' they transformed Blu Cantrell’s 2001 R&B hit into an old-time gem."
The performance "was often thrilling," writes Roberts. "But it also conveyed an important message" about the 19th-century origins and the evolution of the black string band music the band plays.
"But as the group proved Friday, within the history of enslavement can be found incredibly powerful music with a brand of resilience that, unlike the system that ensnared its creators, not only has survived but has also emerged victorious over it. The Carolina Chocolate Drops didn’t just manifest this music but proved how much energy remains within these songs."
Read the complete concert review at latimes.com.
In advance of the band's current US tour, founding member Dom Flemons spoke with Mother Jones writer Michael Mechanic about the band's founding and all that's happened since the release of their Grammy-winning Nonesuch debut album, Genuine Negro Jig. Read the interview at motherjones.com.
Carolina Chocolate Drops' tour takes them to New Mexico and then to Flemons' home state of Arizona later this week and weekend. The band joins an all-star cast at The Moody Theater, home of ACL Live in Austin, Texas, next week for a celebration of Johnny Cash's 80th birthday. For more on these and other upcoming shows, go to nonesuch.com/on-tour.
To pick up a copy of Leaving Eden, head to the Nonesuch Store now, where CD and vinyl orders include high-quality, 320 kbps MP3s at checkout. The album is also available to purchase there as MP3s and FLAC lossless files.