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 Vanessa Jugarap Clarkvanessajugarapclark@gmail.com "I lived in Gaza, Palestine from 2003 to 2017 and 2020 to 2021. From water cuts, to the electricity schedule of 6-on/12-off (on a good day), every day was a reminder of the…

By Annie Prafckeannieprafcke@gmail.com As an elementary school kid in the early 2000s, Kristy Tran didn’t start her day the way most kids do. Instead of rolling out of bed to go straight to school, Tran and her parents went…

March 19-23Fargo Theatre314 Broadway N, FargoCheck out luncheon panel discussions, pre-parties, a 2-minute movie contest, local, international and award-winning films for your viewing pleasure. Producer Will Greenfield will be…

By John Strandjas@hpr1.com What’s that you just said? “Tell somebody who gives a shit”? Stop reading this now if you don’t care about anyone else. Don’t waste your time. You’ll only get mad. Vocal. Obstinate.…

By Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.comThe Catacombs under Paris Contain the Bones of Millions of FeudalistsSixty-five feet below the Paris streets are about 170 miles of tunnels that go through stone quarries, galleries, and ossuaries…

By Rick Gionrickgion@gmail.com Holiday wine shopping shouldn’t have to be complicated. But unfortunately it can cause unneeded anxiety due to an overabundance of choices. Don’t fret my friends, we once again have you covered…

By Rick Gionrickgion@gmail.com In this land of hotdish and ham, the knoephla soup of German-Russian heritage seems to reign supreme. In my opinion though, the French have the superior soup. With a cheesy top layer, toasted baguette…

By John Showalterjohn.d.showalter@gmail.com It is not unheard of for bands to go on hiatus. However, as the old saying goes, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” That is why when a local group like STILL comes back to…

Now playing at the Fargo Theatre.By Greg Carlson gregcarlson1@gmail.comPalme d’Or recipient “Anatomy of a Fall” is now enjoying an award-season victory tour, recently picking up Golden Globe wins for both screenplay and…

In the 20th and 21st centuries, the pursuit of knowledge has directed humankind to new horizons – the ocean depths, the infinite reach of space, and the hidden secrets of cells and microbes…or to Artificial Intelligence, which…

By John Showalterjohn.d.showalter@gmail.comHigh Plains Reader had the opportunity to interview two mysterious new game show hosts named Milt and Bradley Barker about an upcoming event they will be putting on at Brewhalla. What…

By Annie Prafckeannieprafcke@gmail.com AUSTIN, Texas – As a Chinese-American, connecting to my culture through food is essential, and no dish brings me back to my mother’s kitchen quite like hotdish. Yes, you heard me right –…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comNew Jamestown Brewery Serves up Local FlavorThere’s something delicious brewing out here on the prairie and it just so happens to be the newest brewery west of the Red River and east of the…

By John Showalter  john.d.showalter@gmail.comThey sell fentanyl test strips and kits to harm-reduction organizations and…

JANUARY 19, 1967– MARCH 8, 2023 Brittney Leigh Goodman, 56, of Fargo, N.D., passed away unexpectedly at her home on March 8, 2023. Brittney was born January 19, 1967, to Ruth Wilson Pollock and Donald Ray Goodman, in Hardinsburg,…

By William Cooperwcooper11@gmail.com When people look at political questions through a partisan lens, they apply their own personal gloss to the world. They reflexively interpret events in favor of their own tribe and against the…