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18 Reviews
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderdully immediate album...It almost feels timeless.., 10 Mar 2012
By 
Alistair Moom (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Leaving Eden (Audio CD)
The Carolina Chocolate Drops, a contemporary string band trio who, under the watchful eye of mentor Joe Thompson, re-created the look, feel, and sound of a 19th century black North Carolina string, fiddle, and jug band ensemble, crafted their first studio recordings into perfect facsimiles of the group's influences.
The Drops were always at their best on-stage, however, where the gospel stomp of those mountain rhythms and the kinetic energy the band gave off completed the feel of a living, breathing history lesson.
Those old string bands could turn on a dime, and the Chocolate Drops reproduced that art, turning their live sets into a black string band revival show. The studio albums felt like they were a bit encased in glass compared to the live performances.
For this outing, however, the Chocolate Drops found the perfect producer in Buddy Miller, who recorded the band live in a single room, and the result is a wonderfully immediate album that feels like a Saturday night house party-- complete with moonlight, dust flying from the carpet under the feet of dancers, and crickets and night bird calls out the open windows.
The sound breathes, and the Drops shine.
Traditional pieces like "Po' Black Sheep" become stomping revivals, born again in a new century. "Ruby, Are You Mad at Your Man?" becomes a clawhammer banjo-driven mountain blues, with Rhiannon Giddens' vocal making it seem like Janis Joplin just wandered into the party, a feat she repeats with the album's marvelous last track, "Pretty Bird" (complete with crickets in the background).
The Carolina Chocolate Drops may be intent on reproducing a sound from over a century ago, but they do an amazing job of translating it into the 21st century without diminishing it.
This set feels like a Saturday night throw down under the summer stars. It almost seems timeless, perhaps because it defies time. S. Leggett
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yee har!!, 9 Jun 2012
By 
Mr. Colin M. Clark "colbinski" (Lancashire, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Leaving Eden (Audio CD)
Genuine downhome bluegrass from this talented trio occasionally augmented by female cellist. Rhiannon especially has a wonderful voice and picks a mean banjo.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute gem, 23 Mar 2012
By 
Sid Nuncius (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Leaving Eden (Audio CD)
I completely agree with Alistair Moon's excellent review here. This is a terrific album, full of variety from the thumping, rough-edged traditional pieces to the mournful, beautiful and quite modern-sounding title track. The effect is terrific from beginning to end, created by some quite brilliant musicianship: excellent playing of a variety of instruments and wonderful, wonderful singing.

My advice is to read Mr Moon's review for a more detailed idea of the album and then to snap it up. It's an absolute gem.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 3 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Leaving Eden (Audio CD)
Did'nt know what to expect from this band, but from what I have heard from this cd you will not be disappointed. With new songs and others from the archives this cd is pure pleasure from the first to the last track."Read em John" and "Mahalla" are my faves today, but really all the tracks are excellent. Would love to see them live, bet that would be an experience. Just buy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended, 11 Aug 2012
By 
Cason (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Leaving Eden (Audio CD)
What a marvellous band! This is what music is all about. So full of energy & fun. Rhiannon Giddens & Dom Flemons are musicians of great integrity.

I like this record a lot, but the Chocolate Drops are best heard live rather than in the studio, so I buy their CD's out of loyalty rather than anything else. You can download many recordings of their live concerts from archive.org.

The current line up is fine (I'm glad the beat box man didn't last long) but I do miss Justin Robinson.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful music, 6 July 2012
By 
Neil Preston - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Leaving Eden (Audio CD)
Amazing stuff. Check them out on youtube first. This weeks favourite in the car is 'Ruby, are you mad at your man?".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, 26 Jun 2012
By 
Don Spence "music adict" (Alicante, Spain) - See all my reviews
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This music is a wonderful example of great young musicians being able to respect the roots of traditional music yet give it a uniquely modern twist. This item is a joy to listen to and the guys also write lovely original music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Band, 15 Jun 2012
By 
Michael E. Wood "Bookbear" (Thornton LancashireUK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Leaving Eden (Audio CD)
I was curious about the band having seen the name in several places online and heard mutterings about them so I bought this CD to find out for myself and was knocked out by it. The sound is so natural and the musicianship superb. They jump about the genres from Hoedown to bluegrass to a kind of cajun sound then to a folky feeling. The vocalisations of Rhiannon Giddens are superb especially on the final track Little Bird which she sings without accompaniment.
I would strongly reccomend you buy this whatever your usual musical preferences it is a genuine treat.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 4 July 2014
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This review is from: Leaving Eden (Audio CD)
great album
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5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant and beautiful, 2 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Leaving Eden [VINYL] (Vinyl)
A brilliant vinyl, it was a gift for my boyfriend and he loved it. The sound quality is exceptional, you can hear the music more clearly on this than the mp3 version.
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