This is the latest from The Bluesmobile’s C.C. Rider, who spends her life venerating the founding fathers of the blues. She’s walked the crooked highways of this singing country to resurrect the voices of the past. With the dirt of the Delta on her hands, she sleeps in the shadow of the giants on whose shoulders popular music now stands.
The Carolina Chocolate Drops are a Grammy Award winning old-time string band from the 21st-century. Contradiction? Not Really. Dom Flemons, who fronted the band for many years, knows that if he’s going to bring string music back in style, he’s got to adapt to the times.
The Chocolate Drops were just following the example of the string bands that came before them. Like Chatmon Family, who made up the Mississippi Sheiks. Dom Flemons has more.
Well what ended up happening is a lot of this old time string band music evolved over time as tastes changed, cause that’s one of the main things is like with the establishment of the record companies there were tastes that were picked for what black people and white people wanted. And so you had the situation where the string band music was already falling out of favor. And then every once in awhile you’d find certain groups that were they either they’d made it in just kind of at random or that they changed with the times and had styles that were popular enough so that people would want to buy the records. And so the Mississippi Sheiks happen to be one of those, they were a family string band and then one of the brothers learned how to read music and started to learn a lot of the pop tunes and applied it into the family’s music and so then they started touring as the Mississippi Sheiks.