Half Notes: Carolina Chocolate Drops – Geniune Negro Jig (2010)

Share this:

by S. Victor Aaron

Here’s a trio of African-Americans playing bluegrass, vintage country, jug and other hillbilly styled music, played the old-fashioned way. But just listen to the music and you’ll realize the appeal isn’t at all in the novelty of this setup. No, it’s because they play it so well. There’s agrarian humor (the only place where the joys of “eating beans and makin’ love” are sung in the same song), some nimble playing and wonderful singing, especially by violinist/banjo/kazoo player Rhiannon Giddens, whose a capella performance of “Reynadine” is sublime. “Hit ‘Em Up Style” even manages to inject some organic hip-hop into this century-old music, without it sounding the least bit awkward. They’ve recorded some before this record, but getting picked up by the wide-distribution Nonesuch label is turning the Chocolate Drops from more than some regional novelty act, into a national sensation for those who like their music nice and rootsy down to the bone. It’s a similar storyline to what happened with the breakout of The Low Anthem last year, so the Carolina Chocolate Drops could very well become the Low Anthem story of 2010.

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
Share this:
Close