Monday, May 31, 2010

Carolina Chocolate Drops push rural black music

Music in rural areas has a rich history, and one modern group is hoping to bring attention to the history of rural black music. "Ninetheenth and 20th-century black fiddle and banjo bands filled their spirited dance numbers, haunting slow waltzes, and gospel laments with clattering spoons and foot-stomping percussion," A. D. Amorosi of The Philadelphia Inquirer reminds us. "Their lyrics dealt with God, work, and passion - sometimes all at once in traditional songs such as 'Cornbread and Butterbeans.'" The Carolina Chocolate Drops are "bent on keeping that rural, rustic music authentically alive - by any means necessary," Amorosi writes.

"Three African American multi-instrumentalists and singers who met at the Black Banjo Gathering in Boone, N.C., in 2005 formed the Carolina Chocolate Drops in tribute to old-time sound, with education as part of their goal," Amorosi writes. Chocolate Drops' concerts include in-depth stories of who wrote these often uncredited "traditional" songs and how they came into existence. In a review of the group's concert in Philidelphia last week, Amorosi concluded "The Drops proved the connection between new jack swing and old-time string band sounds and made each as vital as the other." (Read more)

For more information about the Chocolate Drops you can read our item from 2008.

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