For eight years, Dom Flemons was a part of the retro-yet-groundbreaking Carolina Chocolate Drops. Formed at the Black Banjo Gathering that took place at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., in 2005, the group’s goal was to recapture the African American string band heritage that was nearly lost over the years. In the 1700s, 1800s and early 1900s, black musicians rocked fiddles and banjos, playing early Blues, fiddle tunes and Dance music. Many forget that the banjo is an instrument of African origin that has evolved here in America over the centuries.
The Chocolate Drops also brought modern sensibilities into their music, finding success with satisfied audiences wherever they played and taking home a Grammy award in 2011 for their Genuine Negro Jig album. (The band’s 2012 album Leaving Eden was also nominated for a Grammy.)
After a great run with the Chocolate Drops, Flemons decided to break away last year and strike out on his own. When he comes to the Southgate Revival House, he’ll be playing in a trio setting with Joe Seamons and Ben Hunter, and he will also perform solo with his array of harmonicas, guitars, banjo, quills and bones.
Flemons continues to combine early Blues and Old Time music adapted for modern audiences, albeit with a new crop of songs including some originals that will appear on his solo album due in July.
DOM FLEMONS plays Newport's Southgate House Revival on Monday, April 7, with
Buffalo Wabs & the Price Hill Hustle. Ticket/more info here.