On Leaving Eden, the Carolina Chocolate Drops follow their Grammy-winning album Genuine Negro Jig with a record of original compositions, covers, and traditional songs produced by Buddy Miller (Emmylou Harris, Robert Plant, Patty Griffin, Solomon Burke). They “may take their cues from 1920s string- and jug-band music," says USA Today, "but they're simply a great band.” The Observer calls them "the most electrifying acoustic act around." Rolling Stone gives the album four stars. The BBC says: "It's plain terrific."
North Carolina–based Carolina Chocolate Drops follow up their critically lauded label debut—2010’s Grammy Award–winning Genuine Negro Jig, which reached #1 on the Billboard Bluegrass Chart and #2 on the Billboard Heatseekers and Folk Charts—with Leaving Eden, due February 28 on Nonesuch Records, with vinyl to follow on March 20. The group returns with a record of original compositions, covers, and traditional songs produced by Buddy Miller (Emmylou Harris, Robert Plant, Patty Griffin, Solomon Burke).
With Leaving Eden the Carolina Chocolate Drops’ founding members Dom Flemons and Rhiannon Giddens expand their lineup to include multi-instrumentalist Hubby Jenkins; during their live sets the members share singing duties and swap instruments regularly. (Cellist Leyla McCalla also joins the band on the record.)
The Drops have toured year-round internationally since the band’s inception, playing festivals such as Bonnaroo, SXSW, and Telluride and selling out concert halls and clubs. The band regularly receives critical accolades from publications such as the Seattle Times, which said “What a treat to bask in this Grammy-winning group’s top-notch musicality, easy good humor and understated but sparkling showmanship with just the right dollop of historical background.” And the Capital Times (Madison, WI) said, “The string band performed a joyful, high-energy show that had the packed, sweaty theater moving and cheering for the entire time. The band’s sound is rooted in, and very reverent to, the traditional African-American string band sound of generations ago. But the attitude is anything but old-timey, as the band brought in hip-hop and soul elements, a no-holds-barred energy, and just a sense of playfulness to the songs.”
Produced by Buddy Miller
Recorded by Mike Poole at Buddy Miller's Home, Nashville, TN
Assistant Engineer: Gordon Hammond
Mastered by Robert C. Ludwig at Gateway Mastering Studios, Portland, ME
Track 1, 12 arranged by Dom Flemons, Rhiannon Giddens, and Hubby Jenkins; track 2 arranged by Rhiannon Giddens and Dom Flemons; tracks 3, 8, 11, 14 arranged by Rhiannon Giddens, Hubby Jenkins, Dom Flemons, and Adam Matta
Design by Al Quattrocchi / Tornado Design
Photography by Bill Steber
Executive Producer: David Bither
This album is available from Nonesuch in the world outside of France.
Dom Flemons, vocal (1, 4, 6, 11), snare drum (1), bass drum (1, 2, 12), bones (3, 14), 4-string banjo (4-6, 9-11, 13), jug (4), quills (6, 12), guitar (7), lead vocal (8)
Rhiannon Giddens, fiddle (1, 3, 5, 6, 10-12), 5-string gourd banjo (2, 14), 5-string banjo (3), 5-string cello banjo (4), background vocal (4, 6, 12), vocal (5, 7, 10, 13, 15), harmony vocal (8)
Hubby Jenkins, 5-string banjo (1, 12), mandolin (3-5, 7), guitar (6, 9, 13), background vocal (6), vocal (8, 12), bones (11, 14)
Adam Matta, beatbox (3, 5, 11), background vocal (4, 6), tambourine (6, 14), vocal (8), vocal bass (13)
Leyla McCalla, cello (5, 7), background vocal (7)