Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Carolina Eye and Ear Candy

Music | June 26th, 2012

Carolina Chocolate Drops: A Winnipeg Folk Festival Highlight Artist

One of the best and brightest folk festivals is only three hours away from the Fargo-Moorhead area. Join Iron & Wine, Feist, Billy Bragg, K’naan, and HPR’s two picks of exclusive, on-the-rise artists, The Carolina Chocolate Drops and Blitzen Trapper, as they take the stage on festival grounds in Winnipeg starting Wednesday, July 4 and ongoing till Sunday, July 8.

The Carolina Chocolate Drops (CCD) from North Carolina legitimately own the title spot as the staple African-American roots band. With one Grammy already under its belt, the band is continuing to shine among – and sometimes even out-perform – its contemporary artists who are predominantly white.

Since the band’s formation in 2005, it has released three full-length albums, been praised by such publications as The New York Times and The Huffington Post, performed at the Grand Ole Opry and, of course, won a Grammy for the Best Traditional Folk Album.

“Genuine Negro Jig,” the band’s prized album of 2010 is certainly wonderful, though now in 2012, with its latest album, “Leaving Eden,” the band has proved that they are not just another band with a banjo.

Once a trio, “We expanded our musical family quite a bit, and that was really exciting … We did a lot of things we were not able to do before,” banjo player/fiddler/vocalist Rhiannon Giddens says in reference to recording the new album. The band now consists of five musicians rocking on guitar, fiddle, jug, banjo, bones, beatbox, snare drum, mandolin, kazoo, tambourine, harmonica, quills and cello.

There is something wonderful about modern players taking organic instruments, recording them in a modern studio, and yet sounding so authentically classic.

CCD develops and creates strong and vibrant songs, all impeccably executed. Whether performing traditional fiddle tunes, rag-timing swing tunes, bluegrassy call and response songs, or just recreating R&B jams from the early 2000’s, this group of modern american folk heroes know how to do it right.

Especially unique is CCD’s rhythm section, due to its use of bones and beat boxing. Bones are a percussion instrument placed between one’s fingers and consist of two animal bones that make a “click-it-y” sound when struck together. Dom Flemons, one of the leading/founding members of the Chocolate Drops, is quite the bones master. In fact, one can tell he is good by simply using their eyes. It is like moving artwork. His strapping suspenders and buttoned-to-the-top plaid, collared shirts certainly add to the visuals as well.

CCD may be the only current old-time band that incorporates beatboxing in its music. Not since Ben Harper, who is only semi-rootsy, has beatboxing been around in folk music. More often, that type of vocal percussion is found accompanying a rapper, but surprisingly, it fits in gracefully CCD’s sound.

Giddens dance moves are not something worth dismissing either. In the middle of the band’s performances, she will often start doing the Charleston and other contra-type dances. The crowd hoots every time.

“I hung out at fiddle conventions for a while when I was starting out and there was a lot of dance teachers dancing on boards … I kind of messed around and saw what I could do,” Giddens says. “We try to keep it in at least a little bit the show because people really like it ... It’s nice to have a little bit of visual interest.”

Whether they get their attraction from their instruments, voices or visuals, these musicians sure know how to keep it old school in a ridiculously stylish and proficient fashion.

“I think there’s a small, yet growing, hopefully, backlash against pre-packaged pop that is sort of dominating the airwaves. I really feel like people are feeling like it’s time to do something different – to go back to music that people used to make themselves and not producers,” Rhiannon Giddens says.

Hear all of CCD’s songs by visiting http://tiny.cc/coqhgw

IF YOU GO:

WHAT: Carolina Chocolate Drops at the Winnipeg Folk Festival

WHEN: Sat., July 7, 6 p.m.

WHERE: Winnipeg, Manitoba

INFO: http://tiny.cc/emqhgw

Recently in:

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comJason Sole may have an impressive resume as a Criminal Justice professor, past president of the Minneapolis NAACP, founder of movements and initiatives, national restorative justice trainer, author,…

By Michael M. Miller  michael.miller@ndsu.eduGermans from Russia Heritage Collection, NDSU Libraries, Fargo,…

Sons of Norway, Kringen Lodge #4-25, is a fraternal organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Norwegian culture.Sentrum på 722 2nd Ave N, FargoKringen Kafe er åpen for Kaffe og Bakverk mandag-fredag 9.00 til…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comOur opinion: Let our character and characters define usIt’s no secret that North Dakota is one of our nation’s least visited states, in fact I can think of a handful of folks I’ve chatted…

By Ed Raymond  fargogadfly@gmail.com Will We Soon See a Documentary Called Requiem For a Lightweight? It’s plain to see The Divided States of America still has two political parties. One is called the Democratic Party. The other…

Well shiver me timbers. After weeks of sampling some of the finest drinks in F-M from more bars than we could shake a belaying pin at, the results of High Plains Reader’s 6th Annual Cocktail Showdown are in! For nine weeks,…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.com“If you had talked to me five years ago or even a year ago and told me I was gonna be a chef in Fargo I probably would have looked at you pretty funny. It's wild where food is taking me in…

By Sabrina Hornung  sabrina@hpr1.comAmanda Standalone is a force, in fact one could say she’s an old soul with the Midas touch of…

By Greg Carlsongregcarlson1@gmail.comThe many media attempts at Frank Herbert’s epic space fantasy “Dune” speak to its lasting appeal and its potent impact. David Lynch’s movie, defended by the filmmaker’s most ardent…

By Sarah Noursacha1689.sc@gmail.comOn Sunday, November 7th, the Spirit Room will hold a reception for “Contaminated Nightmares,” their current exhibition of mixed-media pieces by local artist and musician Adam Bursack. This…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comDrag shows, for me, feel like a celebration of artistry, esthetic, music, and camaraderie. With a dash of confetti thrown in.The local drag community is a close-knit family. Giving back to affiliated…

by Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comAdam Quesnell's last show at The Cellar beneath the Front Street Taproom in Fargo was in early September of 2018. He was embarking on a seminal move from Minneapolis to LA. As always, his comedy was…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comSpring is here (mostly), and our area is buzzing with people eager to get back out and about -- many newly vaccinated and feeling a bit safer. Partnering with Jade Events, Fargo Brewing is just…

by Laurie J Bakeremsdatter@gmail.com Part of modern yoga is participating in the world around us. We live in a time of upheaval in society and nature, and of great suffering in humans of all ages. Most of us perceive this suffering…

By Theresa L. Goodrichsubmit@hpr1.comIt was day ten of our epic southwest road trip and we’d made it to Arizona. After camping in Oklahoma, the Texas Panhandle, and New Mexico, we were exhausted, but fortunately our night in…

by Annie Prafckesubmit@hpr1.com17 June 2021On June 19th, from 12pm to 7pm, nonprofit Faith4Hope Scholarship Fund is hosting their first ever Juneteenth Freedom Celebration at Lindenwood Park in Fargo. It is free and open to the…