30-Minute Music Hour

S4 E6 | FULL EPISODE

Carolina Chocolate Drops

In February, The Carolina Chocolate Drops won the Best Traditional Folk Album Grammy Award for 2010's "Genuine Negro Jig." The band has been a one-band revival of a twice forgotten art form: North Carolina Folk music in the African-American tradition. Rolling Stone describes the band's music as, "dirt floor dance electricity."

AIRED: April 09, 2011 | 0:30:46
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

>> It's the30 Minute

Music Hour.

I'm Andy Moore.

Tonight it's the

Carolina Chocolate Drops!

(beatboxing )

♪ Everybody talkin' 'bout

♪ Their sweetie nowadays

♪ I've got the one

♪ With the sweetest ways

♪ Your baby may

♪ Roll her jelly fine

♪ Nobody's baby can

♪ Roll it like mine

♪ Your baby

♪ Ain't sweet like mine

♪ She bake her jelly roll

♪ All the time

♪ And when I'm feelin'

♪ Lonesome and blue

♪ My baby

♪ Know just what to do

♪ Yes sir

♪ She even call me honey

♪ She even let me

♪ Spend her money

♪ Never has a baby

♪ Put me outdoors

♪ She even buys me

♪ All of my clothes

♪ I don't want to brag

♪ Just want to put you in line

♪ Your baby

♪ Ain't sweet like mine

♪ Oh no

♪ Your baby

♪ Ain't sweet like mine

♪ Play it

♪ Oh, play that thing

Play it

♪ Your baby

♪ Ain't sweet like mine

♪ She bake her jelly roll

♪ All the time

♪ And when I'm feelin'

♪ Lonesome and blue

♪ My baby

♪ Know just what to do

♪ Yes sir

♪ She even call me honey

♪ She even let me

♪ Spend her money

♪ Never has a baby

♪ Put me outdoors

♪ She even buys me

♪ Every piece of my clothes

♪ Now I don't want to brag

♪ Just want to put you in line

♪ Your baby

♪ Ain't sweet like mine

♪ Oh no

♪ Your baby

♪ Ain't sweet like mine

♪ Rattle them bones

Blow that jug

Where's your jug?

(beatboxing )

(laughs)

♪ Your baby

♪ Ain't sweet like mine

♪ She bake her jelly roll

♪ All the time

♪ And when I'm feelin'

♪ Lonesome and blue

♪ Oh my baby

♪ Know just what to do

♪ Yes sir

♪ She even call me honey

♪ Honey, honey

♪ She even let me

♪ Spend her money

♪ Never has a baby

♪ Put me outdoors

♪ It's too cold

♪ She even buys me

♪ All of my clothes

♪ And his shoes

♪ I don't want to brag

♪ Just want to put you in line

♪ Your baby

♪ Ain't sweet like mine

♪ Oh no

♪ Your baby

♪ Ain't sweet like mine

♪ Ah yeah

♪ Your baby

♪ Ain't sweet like mine

(applause )

>> Thank you folks.

Now this next one

we're going to do is one

that Hubby is going to sing.

It's called

"From Four 'Til Late."

>> It goes a little something

like this.

Where would I be without you?

>> The sweet sound of tuning.

♪ From four 'til late

♪ I was wringing my hands

♪ And cryin'

♪ From four 'til late

♪ I was wringing my hands

♪ And cryin'

♪ I believe in my soul

♪ That your man

♪ Is Gulfport bound

♪ Now from Memphis to Norfolk

♪ Is a 36-hour drive

♪ From Memphis to Norfolk

♪ Is a 36-hour drive

♪ Ain't a man

♪ Just like a prisoner

♪ And he ain't never satisfied

♪ Now, a woman's

♪ Just like a dresser

♪ Some man's always running

♪ Through its drawers

♪ That woman's

♪ Just like a dresser

♪ Some man's always running

♪ Right through its drawers

♪ Cause so many men

♪ To wear an apron overall

Go on, man.

(imitating trombone )

♪ I said

♪ From four 'til late

♪ She gets with a no good

♪ Bunch of clowns

♪ Yeah from four 'til late

♪ She'll get with a no good

♪ Bunch of clowns

♪ And she don't do nothing

♪ But tear a good man's

♪ Reputation down

♪ Now when I leave this town

♪ Gonna bid you fare--

♪ Farewell

♪ When I leave this town

♪ Gonna bid you fare--

♪ Farewell

♪ But when I come back again

♪ You'll have a great long

♪ Story to tell

(applause)

>> Well, we'll do this one

called "Hit 'Em Up Style."

It's just a good old-fashioned

revenge number.

Y'all ready?

>> Yeah.

>> Okay.

(beatboxing )

♪ Well, he was schemin'

♪ I was beamin'

♪ In his Beamer just beamin'

♪ I can't believe that

♪ I caught my man cheatin'

♪ So I found another way

♪ To make him pay for it all

♪ So I went to Neiman Marcus

♪ On a shoppin' spree-ah

♪ And on the way

♪ I grabbed Sole & Mia

♪ As cashbox rang

♪ I threw everything away

♪ Hey Ladies

♪ When you're man

♪ Wanna get buck wild

♪ Just go back

♪ And Hit 'Em Up Style

♪ Get your hands on his cash

♪ And spend it

♪ To the last dime

♪ For all the hard times

♪ When you go

♪ Then everything goes

♪ From the crib

♪ To the ride

♪ And the clothes

♪ So, you better let him know

♪ That if he mess up

♪ You gotta hit 'em up

♪ There goes the dreams

♪ We used to say

♪ There goes the times

♪ We went away

♪ There goes the love I had

♪ But you cheated on me

♪ And that's for that now

♪ There goes the house

♪ We made a home

♪ There goes

♪ You'll never leave me alone

♪ There go the lies

♪ You told

♪ This is what you owe

♪ Oh, oh, oh

♪ This is what you

♪ Owe-owe-owe

♪ While he was braggin'

♪ I was comin' down the hill

♪ Just draggin'

♪ All his pictures

♪ And his clothes

♪ In my bag, and

♪ Threw everything out

♪ Till there

♪ Was just nothing left

♪ And I paid all the bills

♪ About a month too late

♪ It's a shame

♪ We have to play these games

♪ The love we had

♪ Just fades away

♪ Fades away-ay-ay

♪ Hey Ladies

♪ When you're man

♪ Wanna get buck wild

♪ Just go back

♪ And hit 'em up style

♪ Get your hands on his cash

♪ And spend it

♪ To the last dime

♪ For all the hard times

♪ When you go

♪ Then everything goes

♪ From the crib

♪ To the ride

♪ And the clothes

♪ So, you better let him know

♪ That If he mess up

♪ You gotta hit 'em up

♪ Hey, Ladies

♪ What?

♪ When you're man

♪ Wanna get buck wild

♪ Come on

♪ Just go back

♪ And hit 'em up style

♪ Get your hands on his cash

♪ And spend it

♪ To the last dime

♪ For all the hard times

♪ When you go

♪ Then everything goes

♪ From the crib

♪ To the ride

♪ And the clothes

♪ So you better let him know

♪ That if he mess up

♪ You gotta hit 'em uh-uh-up

(applause)

>> Well that got the studio

rocking.

Great stuff.

That's a cut, Hit 'Em Up Style

from that beautiful package

right there.

That's a Grammy Award winning

record, Genuine Negro Jig.

This is the Carolina

Chocolate Drops, Adam,

Rhiannon, Dom, and Hubby.

Welcome.

Thanks for coming.

The music has such deep roots.

You're doing your own thing

with it Dom.

Give us the 30-second background

though on where the music came

from and how you found it.

Thirty, ready, go!

>> Oh man, all right.

(chuckles )

Well the old time fiddling

banjo tradition in America is

several hundred years old.

How we got into it, there was a

listserv called Black Banjo

Players Then and Now.

It's a listserv that's meant

to talk about and explore the

African and African American

roots of the banjo,

which at the time

really wasn't well known.

Rhiannon and I met at a thing

called the Black Banjo

Gathering, which happened in

Boone, North Carolina in 2005.

That's how we started the group

the Carolina Chocolate Drops.

We played with a fellow named

Joe Thompson, who is now

92 years-old, he's been playing

since he was a very little boy.

That was kind of the formation

of our group.

That's the how we started out

and then from there

we kind of expanded on.

These are our two new members,

Hubby Jenkins and Adam Matta.

>> And what additions they are

to the line up.

If you saw their program in

Madison just the night before,

we're on live on the web and

this was taped.

Never seen a theater respond,

and who would have thunk that

beatbox and a string band would

work?

There are a lot of people who

were dubious about that right?

Weren't there?

>> There are.

>> Why do you think it works

Adam?

The beat in this kind of music.

>> Well there's just the element

of the groove.

The groove matches really well

doing the beat.

There's also the fact that the

beatbox is an organic art form.

It's kind of like a folk music

in and of itself.

It can be traced back to ancient

art forms of vocal percussion.

Just the same way that the Drops

are upholding their tradition.

These roots do go way back and

it's just about using what you

got to created a sound, to

create music, and to get people

to dance.

>> It does give new meaning to

oral tradition.

>> Yeah exactly.

>> Who's idea was it to find

Adam or for you to find the

Chocolate Drops?

>> Well we met three years ago

on a project.

I have some friends from

New York who have a band based

in Brooklyn that play gypsy punk

klezmer tango music, all string

band stuff.

That band knew the Drops from

the folk circuit and they

brought me down to meet with

them, to meet the Drops three

years ago to collaborate on some

recordings and just have fun and

mixing the beats.

I met the Drops three years ago

and when Justin, the original

third member decided to leave

the band last year they gave me

a call.

>> Right.

And meanwhile Hubby comes into

the fold too with a mandolin,

adds it's own panache, it's own

little sparkle and shine,

and more bones.

How many bands have

more than one bones player?

(chuckles )

So no regrets?

>> No, no regrets at all.

I've been friends with Dom for a

long time and gotten to hang out

with them for a couple years

while they were doing their

thing and everything's been real

natural, everything's been

clicking.

No regrets at all.

>> Yeah it shows.

It seems like you guys have been

together in this line up a lot

longer than a few months.

I've got to ask about the

Grammy.

Rhiannon, what was it like?

Was that insane to win a Grammy?

>> Um, yeah.

I mean--

(chuckles )

Honestly, we were just happy

to be nominated.

The winning it

was pretty over the top.

We were just excited

to be there.

You know?

>> Right.

Was the event like super fancy,

and swag, and free gifts?

>> People ask us about the swag,

we didn't get any swag.

Not even after we won,

there was just too many people.

There's like 98 categories in

the daytime, but it was just,

you know, kind of exciting

just to be there.

Neither me nor Dom are really

into the cocktail party thing,

so there was a couple parties

we kind of showed up and went,

okay that's enough and we left.

It was cool to be there.

>> When we got there,

that was when we realized that

we were just in Traditional Folk

and that's why we're on

the commercials half, 'cause

we hit the red carpet, and...

>> Nobody was there.

>> All the news commentators

were there, but they didn't stop

us.

We just kept walking right in

there with no problem.

>> Only the Carolina Chocolate

Drops would celebrate winning

a traditional folk music Grammy

by hiring a beatbox.

So innovate and continue and

thank you so much for your

uplifting music.

Please if we could have a few

more, it'd be great.

>> Sure thing.

Well, this is one

that Adam wrote here.

You know he's had some hard

times, and I guess he's going

to have to tell you in song

about it.

>> That's right, beatboxing

is a difficult journey.

And this is a song--

It's a country waltz

about beatboxing

and about the trials--

(chuckles )

Trying to make it happen.

♪ I'm done with your letters

♪ I'm done with your jokes

♪ I'm done

♪ With your album covers

♪ I'm done with your hoax

♪ You had me believin'

♪ That you'd be my bride

♪ But it's gettin' harder

♪ And harder and harder

♪ To beatbox

♪ And smile at the same time

♪ We had a show

♪ At the town county hall

♪ I kept the tempo

♪ And Rivermen called

♪ But every time

♪ I looked down at the line

♪ You were entangled

♪ In arms that weren't mine

♪ And if it hadn't

♪ Been over and over again

♪ The same partner

♪ I'd probably be fine

♪ But it's getting harder

♪ And harder and harder

♪ To beatbox

♪ And smile at the same time

(beatboxing)

♪ You told me

♪ We were meant to be

♪ And all of a sudden

♪ I had to agree

♪ And I would

♪ Just keep beatboxing

♪ As long as I can

♪ As long as

♪ You were next to me

♪ Holdin' my hand

♪ And now

♪ I'd have to write you

♪ A thousand little words

♪ Or draw you a picture

♪ 'Cause you hadn't heard

♪ I'm done with your letters

♪ I'm done

♪ With your lies today

♪ I'm done

♪ With your album covers

♪ I'm givin' 'em all away

♪ And I'll keep telling myself

♪ I could stop on a dime

♪ But it's getting harder

♪ And harder and harder

♪ To beatbox

♪ And smile at the same time

♪ It's getting harder

♪ And harder and--

(beatboxing )

♪ To beatbox

♪ And smile at the same--

It's getting--

(beatboxing )

(imitating scrubbing,

and slowing way down )

♪ ...time

(applause )

It's real hard out here

for a beatboxer, you know.

(chuckles )

>> This next tune we'll do here,

this is one called

Po' Black Sheep.

This is a piece that a fellow

recorded of a duo named

Nathan Frazier

and Frank Patterson.

All right.

Here we go.

♪ Whoa, Lammy

♪ Po' black sheep

♪ Ain't got no mammy

♪ Sheep and the goat

♪ They went to the pasture

♪ Sheep said goat, you'd

♪ Better get a little faster

♪ I got a gal

♪ Lives in this town

♪ I know my gal fool around

♪ Oh, my gal

♪ She's pretty and fine

♪ Oh, I wish my gal was mine

Yep!

♪ Eight hands up

♪ Circle to the right

♪ Promenade all the way around

♪ Grab the gal

♪ You love the best

♪ Leave my gal alone

Yep!

♪ Yeah, Lammy

♪ Yeah, Lammy

♪ Po' Black Sheep

♪ Ain't Got no Mammy

(applause )

>> Thank you so much folks.

Now this last tune we're going

to do for you, this is

a little spiritual number that

we learned from that fiddler

that I was mentioning earlier,

Joe Thompson.

This is one called,

"Lights in the Valley,"

so all you folks at home

you can sing along,

if you'd like, as well.

A little bit of this one,

"Lights in the valley."

It's also known as

"Do Lord Remember Me."

Lots of people have done it,

and hopefully it will keep on

for a long time.

♪ Lights in the valley

♪ Outshine the sun

♪ Lights in the valley

♪ Outshine the sun

♪ Lights in the valley

♪ Outshine the sun

♪ Way beyond the blue

♪ Singing in the valley

♪ Outshine the sun

♪ Singing in the valley

♪ Outshine the sun

♪ Singing in the valley

♪ Outshine the sun

♪ Way beyond the blue

♪ I'm gonna see my mother

♪ Down in the valley

♪ Gonna see my mother

♪ Down in the valley

♪ I'm gonna see my mother

♪ Down in the valley

♪ Way beyond the blue

♪ I'm gonna meet my father

♪ Down in the valley

♪ I'm gonna meet my father

♪ Down in the valley

♪ I'm gonna meet my father

♪ Down in the valley

♪ Way beyond the blue

♪ I got a home in Beulah Land

♪ Outshine the sun

♪ I got a home in Beulah Land

♪ Outshine the sun

♪ I got a home in Beulah Land

♪ Outshine the sun

♪ Way beyond the blue

♪ Now, do Lord

♪ Oh, do Lord

♪ Lord remember me

♪ Do Lord

♪ Oh, do Lord

♪ Lord remember me

♪ Do Lord

♪ Oh, do Lord

♪ Lord remember me

♪ I Said

♪ Do Lord remember me

♪ Lights in the valley

♪ Outshine the sun

♪ Lights in the valley

♪ Outshine the sun

♪ Lights in the valley

♪ Outshine the sun

♪ Way Beyond the blue

>> One more time now!

♪ Lights in the valley

♪ Outshine the sun

♪ Lights in the valley

♪ Outshine the sun

♪ Lights in the valley

♪ Outshine the sun

♪ Way beyond the blue

>> Take it home boys!

(applause )

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