Album: Carolina Chocolate Drops, Leaving Eden (Nonesuch)


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Carolina Chocolate Drops' follow-up to their Grammy-winning Genuine Negro Jig continues in like vein, unearthing the black roots of bluegrass in the negro string-band music of the Piedmont region of the Carolinas.

It has a winning blend of respect, technique and humour, especially when they're rattling along on dashing pieces like "Run Mountain" and "Ruby, Are You Mad at Your Man?", with fiddle and banjo a blur against the percussive bones rattling like castanets and the whistle tootling like ocarina. But it's the way they subtly blend in influences from across the South that most impresses, from the country-blues stylings of "Boddle-De-Bum-Bum" and salty second-line New Orleans cakewalk of "Riro's House" to the spiritual tone of "Leaving Eden".


Download this: Riro's House; Ruby, Are You Mad at Your Man?; Run Mountain