If you are heading to the Dave Matthews Band Caravan this weekend at Bader Field in Atlantic City N.J. there is one band that might not  be on your radar, but is a must see! Carolina Chocolate Drops play the festival on Friday June 23rd. This four piece band which was started in 2005 by Dom Flemons and Rhiannon Giddons and features traditional instrumentation such as banjo, jug, mandolin and the not so traditional human beat-box of Adam Matta might seem like an odd choice to play a festival of this size , but when I saw them at the Abbey Bar in Harrisburg, PA in the early spring they totally tore the place up. Hubby Jenkins the fourth member of the group also plays multiple instruments and is a purveyor of old time music.

Founding member Dom Flemons gives me a few minutes of his time while the band has a couple of days off before heading back on tour. “We were very excited when we were offered the slot at this festival” says Flemons. An Arizona native who got turned on to folk music via cheap Dylan vinyl he bought, found that his passion for traditional African-American music was strong enough to lead him to the Black Banjo Festival which is held each year in North Carolina. This is a gathering of like minded African-American musicians on a quest to keep alive the traditional music of their ancestors. Dom and Rhiannon shared a mutual admiration for Joe Thomson, a banjo player in his 80’s, who they spent much time with learning his musical legacy. This was how Carolina Chocolate Drops was born. Live shows and appearances on radio programs such as Mountain Stage and World Cafe brought them national attention. Their Buddy Miller produced album “Genuine Negro Jig” featuring their wonderful cover of Blu Cantrell’s 1993 hit “Hit Em Up Style”  has garnered great attention. Their music crosses all boundaries and they should rock the crowd at Bader Field. Don’t miss this band!!

Come out to the DMB Caravan this weekend! www.dmbcaravan.com

TSI will be there hanging in the Media Lounge and out enjoying the amazing sets!  Say Hi if you see us for a free TSI Sticker!