Carolina Chocolate Drops at the Ryman Auditorium

The biggest surprise for most attending tonight’s Grace Potter show at the Ryman was opening act the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Give a mini-skirted rocker credit for counter-programming.

You don’t expect to hear string tunes from the 19th century or an Ethel Waters cover at most rock shows. The audience seemed pleasantly surprised – and mesmerized. The show was outstanding.

During their Nashville stay,  Chocolate Drops member Dom Flemons did an interview with the Star-Telegram. An excerpt:

The North Carolina-based quartet, one of just two known African-American “string bands” in existence, traffics in a style more evocative of Will Rogers than Lady Gaga, or what multi-instrumentalist Dom Flemons calls simply “old-time fiddle and banjo music.”

“What we do, as a whole, branches off in a lot of different directions,” Flemons says by phone from a Nashville tour stop. “There are a lot of different strains that are in there. It’s such a huge breadth of material.”

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