Here is a poem for Dom Flemons who will be inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame with the original Carolina Chocolate Drops! We met in Flagstaff at a poetry reading back in the day. – Gary Mex Glazner
(For Dom Flemons)
Dom + Arizona + Lowell Observatory…
Where they discovered a new star.
They call it the Intergalactic Folksinger,
It pulses a deep, blues-rich light,
Far, far away from
The outer solar system,
Calls us from before time,
Calls us to the future…
How you catch that sound?
How do you make it new?
How do you make it old?
Bring those voices to life?
Bring their bones to life?
A pinch of Piedmont,
A dash of handsome,
A bushel of “What Got Over,”
Two stepping… “Til the Seas Run Dry…”
A skillet full of “Hot Chicken…”
Here’s hoping your,
“Money Never Runs Out!”
O sweet orbit,
Sing us home…
Sing us Dom…
When Pete Seeger died in January of 2014, Dom Flemons, folk music enthusiast and founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, was interested to see who would fill the void. When no one did, he stepped up.
“I know a lot of the history of the music, and I perform it, as well,” he says. “It would be ambitious for me to say I’m along the line of Pete … but I’m throwing my hat in the ring and seeing how that could develop and continue to grow.”
An ambassador for American roots music, Flemons doesn’t just play it, he lives it. From the way he dresses—checkered shirts, suspenders, wire rimmed glasses and a throwback hat are his go-to look—to his playing style, his passion for sharing stories and his focus on educating people about the importance of folk music, the 34-year-old is doing the work to which Seeger devoted his life.
“Pete became the guy who said, ‘Hey, everybody, let’s sing these old songs and make sure people remember them,’” says Flemons.
Read more here.
The Black Banjo Gathering in April 2005 turned out to be the motivator that shifted Dom Flemons’ life from Arizona busker to Piedmont string-band musician. Compelled to move to the Piedmont, Flemons began to collaborate with Rhiannon Giddens, who formed the old time/African roots band Sankofa Strings with him and Gregory Wilson, and he followed her to Joe Thompson’s house where Justin Robinson was playing. Without even planning, Dom’s music revival dream became real: “It gave me a different perspective, going from being someone who was learning from recordings to sitting next to the artists and hearing them talk and seeing how mannerisms are translated into the music.”
A multi-instrumentalist, Dom plays banjo, guitar, harmonica, fife, bones, bass drum, snare drum, and quills. As a founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, an African-American string band, Dom was able to explore his interest in bringing traditional music to new audiences. The band won a GRAMMY for its 2011 album Genuine Negro. Buy the product below here