Carolina Chocolate Drops to perform at DePauw Nov. 30

Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Photo courtesy DePauw University

GREENCASTLE -- Acclaimed Nonesuch recording artists Carolina Chocolate Drops -- one of Spin's "30 Must-Hear Artists at Bonnaroo Festival" -- will come to DePauw University for a free concert on Nov. 30.

Presented by the DePauw Performing Arts Series, the music will begin at 8 p.m. in Moore Theatre, located in the Green Center for the Performing Arts, 605 S. College Ave.

There are no reservations; seating is first come, first served. Doors will open at 7:30 p.m.

Carolina Chocolate Drops -- Dom Flemons, Rhiannon Giddens and Justin Robinson -- have been playing music together as a trio since the group formed in 2005 following the members' pilgrimage to the Black Banjo Gathering in Boone, N.C.

The Chocolate Drops play a combination of traditional stringband music and newer compositions rendered in a traditional style, all flowing out of the traditional Piedmont style native to the Carolinas.

In particular the Chocolate Drops have been heavily influenced by the great African- American oldtime fiddler Joe Thompson.

Adding occasional bones, autoharp, jug and snare drum to the ubiquitous guitar, five-string banjo and fiddle, the Carolina Chocolate Drops are one of the only African-American traditional stringbands in existence today.

While southern stringband music had been part of African-American music since at least the early nineteenth century, by the mid-twentieth century "oldtime" music had all but disappeared from the repertories of most African-American performers.

Over the years since the World War II a few individuals kept with the traditional music, and now, thanks to young innovators such as Carolina Chocolate Drops, the music is enjoying a bit of a renaissance.

The Chocolate Drops' major label debut, Genuine Negro Jig, was released earlier this year on Nonesuch.

They have appeared on numerous public radio programs such as NPR's Fresh Air and have opened live performances for such folk/roots luminaries as Taj Mahal.

For information about the Nov. 30 concert at DePauw, contact Ron Dye at or 658-4689.

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  • who cares

    -- Posted by GRNT on Wed, Nov 24, 2010, at 7:29 AM
  • I watched some youtube videos of the band and they are quite good. People should listen to them first and, if they like the sound, check out the concert. Free entertainment during these economic times is such a blessing!

    -- Posted by sendmailthere on Wed, Nov 24, 2010, at 9:22 AM
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