Bones and Banjo

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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!”
Spinning, spinning,
O sweet orbit,
Gravity,
Sing us home…
Sing us Dom…

 

NC Hall of Fame Acceptance Letter

imagesOn October 20th, I will be inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame with the original Carolina Chocolate Drops! I’m beyond appreciative of all the many wonderful people, friends and family who have supported us on our journey! It was just over ten years ago, that I went to the Black Banjo Gathering at Appalachian State University to delve deeper into the Black/African/Caribbean roots of the banjo. It was only a happy accident that I met Rhiannon Giddens and Fiddler Joe Thompson. Several months later after having moved to NC as a result of this gathering I founded the group with all the original members. From the first gig we ever did, I knew that the idea and symbolism represented by the Carolina Chocolate Drops was meant for greatness. From the humble beginnings playing at the Cotton Ginning days in Dallas, NC to the Grand Ole Opry and then winning the Traditional Folk Music Award at the GRAMMYs! I accept this honor humbly and with true gratefulness! Yet, I would be amiss if I did not take this honor as a sign of the work I have ahead of me in this long life. I am pleased to be honored along with Justin Robinson, Sule Greg Wilson and Rhiannon Giddens as the original recording members of the group. As I make my way down the road, I cannot help but be reminded of the proverb that Sule taught me, Sankofa, which has guided me through life’s journey. I hope that others will use it to find their own path as they explore our rich history! Until then.. See you all down the road! Here’s to the year of the Folk Singer!
Dom Flemons
The American Songster
10.18.2016

Preview: Dom Flemons comes to Don Quixote’s

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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.

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The Tao News: Giving voice to America’s musical past

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Bones. Quills. Jug. Banjo. Dom Flemons has immersed himself in the sounds and instruments of an older era of American music. Digging into the past, Flemons finds ways to give what’s old a new and contemporary voice.  As an African-American, he is following closely in the footsteps of the Black American string band musicians of the 1920s and 30s.

Flemons is slated to appear Monday (Oct. 10) at the Taos Mesa Brewing, 20 ABC Mesa Road, off U.S. 64 west. The show is a production of Roots and Wires Presents. Taos string band, The Noseeums, opens at 7:30 p.m.

Read more here.

 

 

The American Songster – The Many Voices of Dom Flemons- Guitar Workshop

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.

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