Friday, February 1, 2008

Love them Chocolate Drops!

Eric Easter at has written a great piece about the Carolina Chocolate Drops, a hip young trio that specializes in old-timey fiddle and banjo music.

You say, “Whaaat?

I say, “Check ’em out. The Chocolate Drops are hap’nin’!” Click here to hear their version of “Starry Crown” on my Vox blog.

Before you get to thinking they’re just some dry, serious ethnomusic types, follow this link to YouTube and watch the Carolina Chocolate Drops cover Blu Cantrell’s “Hit ‘Em Up Style.” (This seems to be a big crowd-pleaser at their live shows.)

Now guess what? They’re coming to Cali! They’ll play at McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica on February 8. The next day, it’s morning and afternoon gigs at the Music Center in downtown L.A.

Visit the Chocolate Drops’ MySpace page for more tour dates. And stream a few more of their tunes while you’re over there.

You can download the band’s music from iTunes, eMusic and Amazon.

UPDATE (02/07/08): Jazz journalist Andrew Gilbert adds to the Chocolate Drop love with a nice piece today in the San Francisco Chronicle.


Invisible Woman said...

I'm gonna check them out. My friends don't even know this, but I absolutely love bluegrass music, and I love "Starry Crown". Go figure :-) Thanks for the tip.

Invisible Woman said...

Hmmm....the version I know is much slower, but that is some interesting music they're making. I'm sure they'll be all over the place soon.

quirkychick said...

Thanks Dave!
I love McCabes and these guys are awesome.
I'm there.

bklyn6 said...

This isn't half bad! There's so much more to African American music than hip-hop, RnB, and jazz.

Lately I've been listening African American classical composer William Grant Still, and an African American wind quintet called Imani Winds. So, thanks for this UBM!

Undercover Black Man said...

I'm sure they'll be all over the place soon.

Yep, IW. Even though they mainly play folk festivals and stuff, all it would take is one appearance on Letterman or Conan or Jimmy Kimmel for the Chocolate Drops to BLOW UP!

Eric said...

You might also want to check out the Old Crow Medicine Show.

Undercover Black Man said...

Suze: Maybe I'll see ya there.

Eric: Cool video for "Wagon Wheel." Thanks for mentioning them.

Red Hawk Foodie said...

This is Justin, one of the Chocolate Drops. 'Preciate the love!

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Well hush my puppies! Thank you so much for the comment, Justin.

This is gonna be y'all's year!

bklyn6 said...

I purchased "Dona Got a Ramblin' Mind" in mp3 format at last night. I like what I'm hearing! I've been trying to find podcast interviews of the group, but I'm not having much luck.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ ^ There’s a very nice 9-minute NPR piece from January 2007. It includes a few quotes from Taj Mahal, singing the praises of the group.

The Stepfather of Soul said...

WOW ... this is great stuff. Thanks for hipping me to this. It's so great to see young black musicians doing something to preserve traditions that many blacks have abandoned!

bklyn6 said...

Thanks, UBM. I saw that, but was looking for something I could download. However, I will listen to it once I can stay put. :-)

Undercover Black Man said...

Bklyn6: I'm with you in wishing that NPR had a downloadable archive!

Stepfather: Glad you dug 'em. Tell a friend.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the shout about the piece, Dave.

One thing I left out of the article was a question I had about whether people who don't know the longer connection of banjo music to Black folk had accused them at all of emulating or otherwise trying to connect to turn of the century minstrelsy.

They said they thankfully have not come across much of that but that a kid one of their school concerts asked them if they were slaves.