Carolina Chocolate Drops


The three full-time members of the string band known as the Carolina Chocolate Drops met in 2005 at the Black Banjo Gathering at Appalachian State University in North Carolina, drawn together by their mutual love of bluegrass, “jass,” jug music, and prehistoric country and rock. The acoustic musicians play a lively combination of standards and originals in these styles, sporting tongue-in-cheek, old-timey outfits and a spirited irreverence that barely disguises their technical facility. Their 2006 debut, Dona Got a Ramblin Mind, was released on the Music Maker label to wide acclaim, and they recorded three additional independent albums before their first widely distributed album, Genuine Negro Jig, appeared on Nonesuch in 2010. The group’s next release on the label, which appeared early in 2011, was a four-song EP recorded with the New York City-based Romanian Gypsy punk band the Luminescent Orchestrii. The group augmented things with New Orleans-based cellist Leyla McCalla and beat box specialist Adam Matta for 2012’s full-length Leaving Eden, which was produced by Buddy Miller.