On 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!
The American Songster