Southern Comfort

Carolina Chocolate Drops headline a free show

Old-time sound with a populist sheen is the theme of this afternoon featuring three flavors of the musical South. The Carolina Chocolate Drops, who learned their craft at the knee of African-American banjo elder Joe Thompson, recapture the nearly forgotten jug-and-string-band music that flourished in North Carolina’s Piedmont region during the 1920s. Vestiges of scratchy Mississippi Sheiks and Cousin Emmy 78s can be discerned amid this high-spirited quintet’s sophisticated finesse. Accordionist Stanley Dural Jr.—a/k/a Buckwheat Zydeco—got his start in the legendary Clifton Chenier’s band; he went on to lead his own powerful combo, becoming zydeco’s most successful ambassador. Abigail Washburn divides her attention between traditional clawhammer banjo picking and ambitiously eclectic Sino-American folk-fusion projects such as last year’s City of Refuge.
Sat., Aug. 11, 3 p.m., 2012

 
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