Coming Soon: Carolina Chocolate Drops @ Tipitina’s – 9/14/11

@ Tipitina's - 9/14/11

WHEN: Wednesday, September 14
WHERE: Tipitina’s Uptown – 501 Napoleon Ave.
WHO: Carolina Chocolate Drops
HOW MUCH: $16

A few years back when I was a resident Nashvillian, I took the required pilgramage outside of town to Opryland to witness a taping of the world’s longest-running radio show. Like many locals here who call themselves live music fans without having ever seen a show at Preservation Hall, I shamefully delayed my trip to the hallowed halls for several years before finally going and wasn’t really baptized as a legitimate local fan until this night. Although, countless trips to the original Grand Ole Opry (Ryman Auditorium) helped appease my conscience until this day came.

Carolina Chocolate Drops

On that night, one young (non-Opry member band) caught my attention above all other acts (a lineup that included Marty Stuart, The Whites and a few other regulars to the show) hitting the stage that evening. The NC-based trio called the Carolina Chocolate Drops, made up of Justin Robinson (fiddle, banjo, vocal), Rhiannon Giddens (banjo, fiddle, vocals) and Don Flemons (guitar, banjo, harmonica, jug, snare and vocal), stuck out both because of Giddens’ amazingly alluring vocal presence, and how these musicians wielding old-timey, beat up instruments were breathing new life into folk music with such youthful vigor and learned passion. It was easy to tell they had done their homework and were both well-trained and well read in the art form they celebrated. Since that night in 2008, when CCD became the first black string band to grace the Opry stage the trio has been making major waves nationally, booking gigs like a Bonnaroo ’10 appearance, a slot at this year’s Newport Folk Festival, signing with Nonesuch Records (The Black Keys, Bjork & Wilco), all while helping to revive the tradition of African American old-time string band music that used to be a tradition in rural communities of the South. And if that ain’t enough, the band took home it’s first Grammy in 2010, winning for Best Traditional Folk Album for the 2010 record Genuine Negro Jig.

Cornbread and Butterbeans

In light of the recent Americana renaissance, which has seen previously obscure artists like The Avett Brothers and Mumford & Sons painted gold and platinum, with smaller roots-inspired bands like The Low Anthem, Futurebirds and Punch Brothers experiencing a continuous rise in recent popularity, it’s no surprise that this band has been so well-received in recent years. While Americana is a broad brush to paint CCD with, this recent revival and expanded appreciation for these treasured and timeless sounds like the one that Carolina Chocolate Drops wields has brought them to bigger stages like the Opry and for our intents and purposes, Tipitina’s, a great sign for music (especially after watching the VMA’s on Monday) and affirmation that maybe the kids are in fact alright. Rare to see this kind of music in the Crescent City, don’t miss the chance on September 14th when the Carolina Chocolate Drops swing through.

“Corn Shucking Jig,” from Brigg’s Banjo Instructor

“I Truly Understand That You Love Another Man”

“Run Mountain”

September 1, 2011 |  by  |  Previews, Videos
About the author

Wesley grew up in coastal Georgia and is a former resident of The Music City and The Big Easy where he helped get LMB NOLA off-the-ground after launching in January 2011. Over the past few years, he has also contributed steadily to JamBase and Relix Magazine. Recently, Hodges moved on to L.A. where Abita Beer is hard to find, costs about $6 if located and impromptu parading in the streets will most likely get you arrested on the spot.

 
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