By Danielle Boise
The Grammy award-winning quartet, Carolina Chocolate Drops enthusiastically blended together folk and bluegrass with a ease and love of history as they seamlessly flowed from genre to genre. Played songs from 1855 Civil War times to covering Estelle Water’s 1929 “No Man’s Mama,” then in the next breath “Cornbread and Butterbeans” with joyful exuberance .
Of course any chance you get to see Carolina Chocolate Drops live is always a pleasure, but seeing the band perform at The Melting Point in Athens with the punkgrass married duo, Grace and Tony opening to a standing room only was the ultimate experience for fans.
The Melting Point’s stage is low, allowing for an intimate atmosphere – making the venue a cross between a listening room and a small club space. Absolutely by far my favorite place that I’ve seen Carolina Chocolate Drops perform to date.
I can honestly say that I every time I have seen Carolina Chocolate Drops perform, it has left me speechless and in tears at the sheer intensity that Rhi evokes. She literal bespelled the audience with each note, by far the cover of Odetta’s “Waterboy” left me breathless and overwhelmed with emotion as tears spilled from my eyes.
Seeing Carolina Chocolate Drops is always an elated experience of immense jubilance, leaving one with a feeling of connectedness as Rhiannon Giddens , Hubby Jenkins, Malcolm Parson and Rowan Corbett expansive covers and originals envelops the audience with passion as they explore the history and education of folk music and the prominent role of African-American roots in the history of our nation, both socially and musically.
One of the greatest joys of Carolina Chocolate Drops is its sound, which is truly a living, breathing entity of its own making as it continuously grows and evolves as the band members do themselves, individually and collectively.
One of the most awe inspiring tributes to Carolina Chocolate Drops is that the band is really truly more than a sum of its parts. That it’s about the mission statement of the band itself, being education and keeping the not the individual musicians that partaken in the history of the band. That each member is truly humbled by each other. Working together toward a common goal of educating through entertainment, by not allowing the narrative of the past to be lost.