Five years ago, I was flat out flattened by my discovery of a band called The Carolina Chocolate Drops and their album, Genuine Negro Jig. I was not alone; the album wound up winning a Grammy. Still, my longstanding fascination with the inescapable blackness of virtually all American music at the root resonated powerfully with what the Carolina Chocolate Drops were up to.
I quickly learned that The Drops were a collective trio: two-thirds Dom Flemons and Justin Robinson, a pair of exceptional male musicians, and one-third a stunningly talented woman named Rhiannon Giddens. All three were African American, based in North Carolina. All three were virtuoso vocalist/mult...
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