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Published on Feb 27, 2012
Carolina Chocolate Drops are sweet - but they're not something to eat. You have to take them in with your ears, your feet, your skin, and your mouth if you're prone to singing or beatboxing along. They're a band that's three parts old-timey folk, one part R&B, and a whole lot of love.
Love is what drives tradition. In order to save something, you have to care about it. The Carolina Chocolate Drops evolved under the mentorship of North Carolina folk musician Joe Thompson, who passed at the age of 93 just last week on February 22. His love of music has inspired many musicians, but it's The Chocolate Drops that turned his tunes into a Grammy Award-winning album, Genuine Negro Jig, in 2010.The band's follow-up album, Leaving Eden, will be released tomorrow, February 28.
It was for the love of music that original Drops Rhiannon Giddens, Dom Flemmons, and Justin Robinson regularly jammed with Thompson at his Carolina home. The three met at the Black Banjo Gathering in 2005, the first musical gathering of its kind, and decided to form a band. But according to Flemmons during our interview back in July of 2011, it was playing and learning from Thompson that gave them their edge, and without Joe, he doesn't think the Chocolate Drops would be what they are today.
... (Read full review & listen to podcast interview: publicherald.org/archives/15508/culture/)
You can check out the Carolina Chocolate Drops website carolinachocolatedrops.com or at the their label, Nonesuch Records, nonesuch.com. Their new album, Leaving Eden, is out tomorrow, February 28th, on CD and will be available on vinyl March 20th.