Posted by Brad @ 2:37 am on August 3rd 2013

Music Video of the Week

You know, when I say I listen to “all kinds” of music, I really mean it. I always hear people say that, and then qualify it with “except country” or “except rap” depending on what part of the country I’m in, or who I’m talking to (I’ll hear “except country” in Kansas just as sure as I’ll hear “except rap” in West Philly).

Genre, as a concept, is relatively uninteresting to me. I adore Hank Williams as much as I do Eazy E. But, I’m not gonna say that and pretend I’m a blank slate. All things being equal, I do have genre preferences like anyone else. A heavy metal or new school R&B song, for instance, has to really grab me – the style and tropes of the genres don’t interest me on their ownn. On the converse, there are some genres that it almost doesn’t matter the song or the artist, I’ll dig it regardless.

Just flippin’ fingers, I’d say those genres include 1. Bluegrass and 2. Old School Rap (mid-century gospel, ala the Soul Stirrers, is a close third). I’m more likely to go for the former if it’s mountain music (ala in the Pete Seeger school), and more likely to go for the latter on the jazz tip (ala in the Tribe school). But honestly, I could listen to mountain music or old school rap all day long.

All that is a lead-in to the Carolina Chocolate Drops, and it would be tempting to start conflatin’. To say they scratch the itch of mountain music and black music, like they’re a novelty act on par with the (admittedly fantastic) Gangstagrass. But, I say all that above and the truth of it is that, while the musicians are black, there is otherwise no overlap – this is just a great mountain music band.

And I guess that’s what I love about them most. The truth is, I love North Carolina mountain music – and Rhiannon Giddens may be the greatest practitioner of it going. It’s nice to point out that she’s black, and her integration of that fact surely is a part of the music. But on balance: this is music as God intended.

Carolina Chocolate Drops – Cornbread and Butterbeans

Carolina Chocolate Drops – Hit ‘Em Up style

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