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This Quick Hits video brings together all four members of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, including cellist Leyla McCalla, for a rendition of a bluegrass standard, "Don't Get Trouble in Your Mind." It's hard to imagine a quartet being more in sync than the Drops are during this virtuoso, rowdy romp.
Original band members Dom Flemons and Rhiannon Giddens spoke with Quick Hits reporter Mirissa Neff backstage at the Mystic Theater in Petaluma, California. The two live and breathe African American traditional music, and once you get them started on the topic it's clear that their knowledge runs deep. The interview includes a sample of Thompson's music and a clip from a music video.
Featuring Dom Flemons on the bones and Rhiannon Giddens on the 5-string banjo, "Old Corn Likker" was performed backstage exclusively for Quick Hits. This is a square dance song with Flemons calling out to the dancers and telling the story of a man who fell off a wagon and lost his hat due to some overindulgence in some homebrew alcohol.
"No Man's Mama" was originally sung in the 1920s by blues diva Ethel Waters. At the time its lyrics were downright radical for detailing a woman's giddy liberation after getting her divorce decreed. This version features guitar and banjo strumming by Hubby Jenkins and Dom Flemons, but it's Rhiannon Giddens' impeccably fearless vocals that steal the show.
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