The Carolina Chocolate Drops with The Amigos at The Blue Ridge Music Center
The Blue Ridge Music Center's Evening Concert Series held in the Center's beautiful outdoor amphitheater nestled at the foot of Fisher Peak in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Friday, June 20th's concert - from 7-9 PM - features Durham, NC based Grammy winning Old Time Band The Carolina Chocolate Drops plus opening act The Amigos.
The Chocolate Drops got their start in 2005 with Giddens, Flemons and fiddle player Justin Robinson, who amicably left the group in 2011. The Durham, North Carolina-based trio would travel every Thursday night to the home of old-time fiddler and songster Joe Thompson to learn tunes, listen to stories and, most importantly, to jam. Joe was in his 80s, a black fiddler with a short bowing style that he inherited from generations of family musicians. Now he was passing those same lessons onto a new generation. When the three students decided to form a band, they didn't have big plans. It was mostly a tribute to Joe, a chance to bring his music back out of the house again and into dancehalls and public places.
With their 2010 Nonesuch debut, Genuine Negro Jigwhich garnered a Best Traditional Folk Album Grammythe Carolina Chocolate Drops proved that the old-time, fiddle and banjo-based music they'd so scrupulously researched and passionately performed could be a living, breathing, ever-evolving sound. Starting with material culled from the Piedmont region of the Carolinas, they sought to freshly interpret this work, not merely recreate it, highlighting the central role African-Americans played in shaping our nation's popular music from its beginnings more than a century ago. The virtuosic trio's approach was provocative and revelatory. Their concerts, The New York Times declared, were "an end-to-end display of excellence... They dip into styles of southern black music from the 1920s and '30sstring- band music, jug-band music, fife and drum, early jazzand beam their curiosity outward. They make short work of their instructive mission and spend their energy on things that require it: flatfoot dancing, jug playing, shouting."
In early 2012, Grammy award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops released their studio album Leaving Eden (Nonesuch Records) produced by Buddy Miller. The traditional African-American string band's album was recorded in Nashville and featured founding members Rhiannon Giddens and Dom Flemons, along with multi-instrumentalist Hubby Jenkins and cellist Leyla McCalla, already a familiar presence at the group's live shows. With Flemons and McCalla now concentrating on solo work, the group's 2014 lineup will feature two more virtuosic players alongside Giddens and Jenkins - cellist Malcolm Parson and multi-instrumentalist Rowan Corbett -- illustrating the expansive, continually exploratory nature of the Chocolate Drops' music. Expect a new disc from this quartet in 2015.
Rolling Stone Magazine described the Carolina Chocolate Drops' style as "dirt-floor-dance electricity." If you ask the band, that is what matters most. Yes, banjos and black string musicians first got here on slave ships, but now this is everyone's music. It's okay to mix it up and go where the spirit moves.
The Amigos deliver foot-stomping, accordion-infused Americana music blending folk-rock, zydeco/cajun, and jazz. Compared to the Punch Brothers and the Carolina Chocolate Drops, the Amigos combine virtuosity with reverence for American roots music. Rockin' accordion solos, dare-devil harmony singing, and vintage western-wear have taken the Amigos from sold-out shows at Lincoln Center to the Philadelphia Folk Festival and Nashville's Music City Roots.
Blue Ridge Music Center (View)
700 Foothills Road
Galax , VA 24333
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: Yes!|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|