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Listen Now: Carolina Chocolate Drops On Mountain Stage

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Carolina Chocolate Drops On Mountain Stage

Carolina Chocolate Drops On Mountain Stage

Listen Now: Carolina Chocolate Drops On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/99047558/99042668" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Set List

  • "Cindy Gal"
  • "Cornbread & Butterbeans"
  • "Salty Dog"
  • "Will Adams Breakdown"
  • "Hit 'Em Up Style"

The Carolina Chocolate Drops. Brian Blauser hide caption

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Brian Blauser

Steeped in the Piedmont blues of the North Carolina hill country, the Carolina Chocolate Drops' members breathe new life into the African-American string-band tradition.

The group's three members — Rhiannon Giddens, Dom Flemons and Justin Robinson — share vocal duties and trade instruments throughout this set, recorded in February 2008. Featuring claw-hammer banjo, plenty of fiddle, snare drum, bone percussion and even a little kazoo, the Carolina Chocolate Drops' members perform a set of mostly traditional tunes here.

The band learned its repertoire under the tutelage of North Carolina fiddler Joe Thompson, who mentored the group in the traditions and tunes of Piedmont string-band music. The lone exception is the group's beat-box-driven cover of "Hit 'Em Up Style," an R&B and pop hit for singer Blu Cantrell.