2010-03-01This interesting trio were all drawn, individually, to the Piedmont musical jam sessions run by old-time fiddling legend Joe Thompson. Don Flemons came from Arizona; Rhiannon Giddens was classically trained from Oberlin College in Ohio; and linguistics major Justin Robinson from in-state North Carolina. They wound up going to old Joe's house every other week and developed into a band that respects its historical roots, but also takes liberties to expand the black string band tradition's boundaries. The group's name is a tip of the cap to the Tennessee Chocolate Drops who played to mixed audiences in the '20s and '30s. They are fully aware of the provocative nature of their band's name and even this CD's title, but that's part of the education they hope to achieve in getting people to listen and to dialogue. This set is terrific, with gems such as "Hit 'em Up Style" (#4), "Snowden's Jig" (#6), "Kissin' and Cussin'" (#9) -- as well as a new take on the Tom Waits tune "Trampled Rose" (#12). Outstanding. 03/10 Michael J. F-Traditional
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