Carolina Chocolate Drops Debut "Dona Got A Rambin' Mind"

July 1, 2007

“…the real thrill of Dona Got A Ramblin’ Mind lies within the magnificent fiddle, banjo and jug (yes jug) playing.”—Earvolution

“This young group is the hottest thing to hit the old-time music community in decades, and they have grabbed the attention of folks like Taj Mahal, Mike Seeger, Alice Gerrard, and John Sebastian.”—Allegro-Music

“Put it this way: If all history lessons were this lively and enriching, nobody would ever cut class.”—The Independent Weekly

Dona Got A Ramblin’ Mind, the debut album from banjo and fiddle-driven string band Carolina Chocolate Drops, will be released June 27. The album will support the Music Maker Relief Foundation, an organization in place to aid impoverished blues musicians. They will be on tour throughout the summer, with stops at many regional music festivals across the country.

Carolina Chocolate Drops carry on the rich tradition of the banjo and fiddle music of Carolina’s Piedmont. The trio, comprised of Carolina natives Rhiannon Giddens (fiddle, banjo) and Justin Robinson (fiddle), as well as Arizona-born Dom Flemons (guitar, jug, harmonica, percussion, banjo), formed after meeting at the Black Banjo Gathering in Boone, North Carolina. Coming together under the guidance of Joe Thompson, said to be the last African-American traditional string band player, Carolina Chocolate Drops give life to a brand of music nearly extinct today.

Reaching its peak in the pre-WWII South, old-time string music is often associated with Caucasian musicians from Appalachia, not African-Americans from the North Carolina Piedmont. In a recent NPR interview, Rhiannon Giddens said of this misconception, “It seems that two things get left out of the history books. One, that there was string band music in the Piedmont period. And then also…that, you know, black folk was such a huge part of string tradition.” With Dona Got A Ramblin’ Mind, Carolina Chocolate Drops seek to not only correct this misunderstanding, but to keep the old-time string music tradition alive.

Established in the early 1990’s by Tim and Denise Duffy, the Music Maker Relief Foundation seeks to aid blues musicians living in extreme poverty who need food, shelter, medical care, and other assistance. Music Maker’s mission is to give back to the roots of American music and affirm to the artists how much the inspiration they have delivered to the world is appreciated. Programs include: Musician Sustenance—grants to meet basic life needs and emergency relief; Musical Development—grants and services for recipient artist professional development and career advancement; Cultural Access—supports the preservation and proliferation of American musical traditions; and New Orleans Musician’s Fund assistance to musicians affected by Hurricane Katrina. Please go to for more information.

For more information, please contact Krista Williams or Jaime Rosenberg at Sacks & Co., 212.741.1000, or

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