The Carolina Chocolate Drops, the N.C.-based trio steeped in the black string-band tradition, plans to release a 13-song studio album titled Genuine Negro Jig on the Nonesuch label on Feb. 23.
Bandmates Dom Flemons, Rhiannon Giddens, and Justin Robinson trained in the Piedmont banjo and fiddle musical tradition over the last four years under the tutelage of the great Joe Thompson (a revered, 90 year-old performer from the Piedmont string band heyday). A follow-up to 2007’s Dona Got a Ramblin’ Mind, Genuine Negro Jig is their debut on the jazz/world-music label Nonesuch. Produced by acclaimed recording artist and songwriter Joe Henry (Allen Toussaint, Elvis Costello, Solomon Burke), the album features string band interpretations of Blu Cantrell’s single "Hit ‘Em Up Style" and Tom Waits’ "Trampled Rose," as well as several original compositions and jigs ("Kissin’ and Cussin’," "Cornbread and Butterbeans," and "Trouble in Your Mind" sound mighty fine).
The combo performs a show at the Pour House on Sun. Jan. 10. Local fans have been able to catch the Drops at recent Spoleto Festival USA and Boone Hall events, but rarely at such an intimate venue.