Gypsy-Flavored Chocolate Drops
Nonesuch Records announced today that the Carolina Chocolate Drops will be releasing a new four-song EP on January 25th. The EP will be a collaboration with Romanian gypsy stringband, Luminescent Orchestrii. I have to admit, I’m not familiar with Luminescent Orchestrii, but I’m pretty intrigued nonetheless. (Check out their video below.)
I fell in love with the Chocolate Drops after seeing them live in 2009. I’ve wondered where the Drops’ music might be headed after the big splash that their second LP, Genuine Negro Jig, made on the roots music scene. I think this project is a good sign that the Drops will continue to explore and expand new directions for old-time and stringband music.
Here’s how the EP came to fruition, according to the Nonesuch press release:
“The project began when both the Luminescent Orchestrii and the Carolina Chocolate Drops, longtime admirers of each others’ music, were performing at the Folk Alliance festival in Memphis, Tennessee. Every day in Memphis, the Lumiis would set up in the hall and do a short set for the passersby. One day the Lumiis’ Sxip Shirey noticed that the Drops’ Rhiannon Giddens was watching and asked her to join them. What followed was ‘magic … one of those rare festival moments that never happens again,’ as Shirey said.
“The Chocolate Drops were soon invited to Brooklyn to join the Luminescent Orchestrii and their friend human beatboxer Adam Matta to record ‘Knockin’, from the Lumiis’ record Too Hot to Sleep, and Blu Cantrell’s ‘Hit ’Em Up Style,’ which was on the Drops’ album Genuine Negro Jig. Next the Lumiis and Matta went down to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to record a new version of the Sam Morgan jazz classic ‘Short Dress Gal’ and the Lumii song ‘Escoutas (Diga Diga Diga).’ These four songs comprise Carolina Chocolate Drops / Luminescent Orchestrii”.
Those interested in the EP can pre-order from Nonesuch and immediately download one of the tunes (you can also sample clips of each song from the previous link.) Also the first 100 CD’s and first 100 copies of the 10″ vinyl album will be autographed by the Drops.
Dustin Ogdin is a freelance writer and journalist based in Nashville, TN. His work has been featured by MTV News, the Associated Press, and various other stops in the vast environs of the world wide web. His personal blog and home base is Ear•Tyme Music. Click below to read more and network with Dustin.