Flemons is a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, actor, music scholar, historian, and record collector. He is considered an expert player on the banjo, fife, guitar, harmonica, jug, percussion, quills, and rhythm bones.

A co-founder of the Grammy®-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, he was a member of the group from their inception in 2005 through 2013. As a solo artist beginning in 2014, Flemons has performed at prestigious venues all around the world including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Grand Ole Opry, Philadelphia Folk Festival, Newport Folk Festival, opening ceremony at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and Cecil Sharp House, and served as a U.S. representative at the Rainforest World Music Festival in Kuching, Malaysia.

His third solo album, Prospect Hill, was released in 2014 after Flemons spent many years learning and playing with tradition bearers such as Marty Stuart, Taj Mahal, Guy Davis, Mike Seeger, and James “Boot” Hanks, among many others. After spending decades listening to a variety of vinyl records, 78s and CDs, Flemons took these musical influences and transformed them into an album that redefines “The American Songster.” In 2020, this seminal release returns in an amazing expanded edition.

Read more here.

DF.jpg

Screen Shot 2020-02-24 at 8.18.47 PM.png

img_6664-scaled.jpg

Curated by Vania Kinard, the featured exhibition at the Western Folklife Center brings together folk art, pop art, historical ephemera, and contemporary photography to tell the story of a group of cowboys whose experiences often get lost in the larger Western narrative.

The exhibition also draws heavily from music. Records from Lead Belly and Cisco Houston are displayed in cases next to musicians’ articles of clothing and traditional folk instruments like cow rib bones. Two pieces of music are particularly prominent: Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road”—which lent the title for the exhibition (“I’m Gonna Take My Horse”) and Dom Flemons’ Black Cowboys album, which inspired the Gathering’s theme this year.

Released within a year of each other, these pieces illustrate the best arguments for our renewed interest in black cowboy culture, particularly the appeal of two Wests—imagined and real, spiritual and physical.

The imagined West, or the myth of the West, can be found in the trappings of “Old Town Road”—from the references to horses and hats and “Wrangler on my booty” to its many nods towards rugged individualism (echoey banjo notes and Lone Ranger-esque shots in the video). The performative aspects of being a cowboy are front and center for Lil Nas X, making the elements that you don’t normally find in country music (Gucci, trap beats, black people) feel like a setup for something bigger.

Read more here.

 

jp ea header.jpg

Grammy-award winning artist Dom Flemons is having his third solo album “Prospect Hill” reissues by Omnivore Recordings on February 28th. The new release titled “Prospect Hill: The American Songster Omnibus” features the original 14-track album on one disc, accompanied by a second disc which features his 2015 Record Store Day release “What Got Over” and 12 previously unreleased instrumental tracks titled “The Drum Major Instinct.”

Dom Flemons was an original member of the highly successful folk trio, Carolina Chocolate Drops between 2005-2013, before leaving the band and releasing the album “Prospect Hill.” Flemons is known for his unique style of bringing the classic, turn-of-the-century folk storytelling, mixed with blues and country rhythms, giving his sound a more modern feel.
Read more here.

Screen Shot 2020-02-24 at 8.16.09 PM.png

A co-founder of the Grammy®-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, he was a member of the group from their inception in 2005 through 2013. As a solo artist beginning in 2014, Flemons has performed at prestigious venues all around the world including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Grand Ole Opry, Philadelphia Folk Festival, Newport Folk Festival, opening ceremony at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and Cecil Sharp House, and served as a U.S. representative at the Rainforest World Music Festival in Kuching, Malaysia.

His third solo album, Prospect Hill, was released in 2014 after Flemons spent many years learning and playing with tradition bearers such as Marty Stuart, Taj Mahal, Guy Davis, Mike Seeger, and James “Boot” Hanks, among many others. After spending decades listening to a variety of vinyl records, 78s and CDs, Flemons took these musical influences and transformed them into an album that redefines “The American Songster.” In 2020, this seminal release returns in an amazing expanded edition.

Read more here.

DF

 

Screen Shot 2020-02-24 at 8.12.08 PM.png

There are three blues artists cutting through the clutter right now: Christone “Kingfish” Ingram is the child prodigy turned phenom currently on tour and up for several Blues Music Awards in May. Gary Clark Jr. will become the next B.B. King if Sony, the publicists, and the public continue to crown him and he continues to make money for a major label. He was on the most recent CBS Sunday Morning.  Then, there’s Dom Flemons. Appearing at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Friday night (January 17), this guy has made academic covers of traditional blues not often heard by the masses cool. Not an easy sell. But he’s getting all the right kind of recognition. A Grammy Award winner, two-time Emmy nominee, 2019 WAMMIE Award Winner. On February 28, Omnivore will issue his third solo release Prospect Hill bundled with his 215 EP plus 12 bonus tracks with new liner notes from Flemons and photography by Music Maker Relief Foundation founder Timothy Duffy.

Read more here.

domflemons2.jpg

Blues-Magazine-1x.png

 

Dom Flemons’ third solo release ‘Prospect Hill,’ bundled with 2015 EP and 12 bonus tracks on Omnivore Recordings set, out Feb. 28.

Two-CD and Digital release by Grammy® Award-winner contains new liner notes from Flemons and photography by Music Maker Relief Foundation founder Timothy Duffy.

Grammy Award winner and two-time Emmy nominee Dom Flemons is known as “The American Songster.”

Flemons is a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, actor, music scholar, historian, and record collector. He is considered an expert player on the banjo, fife, guitar, harmonica, jug, percussion, quills, and rhythm bones.

A co-founder of the Grammy®-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, he was a member of the group from their inception in 2005 through 2013. As a solo artist beginning in 2014, Flemons has performed at prestigious venues all around the world including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Grand Ole Opry, Philadelphia Folk Festival, Newport Folk Festival, opening ceremony at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and Cecil Sharp House, and served as a U.S. representative at the Rainforest World Music Festival in Kuching, Malaysia.

Read more here.

 

Since co-founding the Carolina Chocolate Drops in 2005, Dom Flemons has conducting a scholarly exploration of American roots music’s many nooks and crannies, earning himself the nickname “the American Songster.” In 2014, he doubled down on that reputation with his seminal album Prospect Hill. Now that LP is being repackaged and reissued in a deluxe edition called Prospect Hill: The American Songster Omnibus, due out February 28th via Omnivore Recordings.

The new package spans two discs and includes the original 14 tracks of Prospect Hill on one disc, and then a second disc of rare and unreleased material. Flemons’ nine-track 2015 Record Store Day EP What Got Over occupies the first half of Disc 2, and a selection of previously unreleased cuts called The Drum Major Instinct focusing on rhythm and beats fills out the rest. Along with the announcement, Flemons re-released the song “Too Long (I’ve Been Gone),” a gentle acoustic lament from the perspective of a road-weary musician.

Read more here. 

Screen Shot 2020-02-25 at 5.17.39 PM.png

Since co-founding the Carolina Chocolate Drops in 2005, Dom Flemons has conducting a scholarly exploration of American roots music’s many nooks and crannies, earning himself the nickname “the American Songster.” In 2014, he doubled down on that reputation with his seminal album Prospect Hill. Now that LP is being repackaged and reissued in a deluxe edition called Prospect Hill: The American Songster Omnibus, due out February 28th via Omnivore Recordings.

The new package spans two discs and includes the original 14 tracks of Prospect Hill on one disc, and then a second disc of rare and unreleased material. Flemons’ nine-track 2015 Record Store Day EP What Got Overoccupies the first half of Disc 2, and a selection of previously unreleased cuts called The Drum Major Instinctfocusing on rhythm and beats fills out the rest. Along with the announcement, Flemons re-released the song “Too Long (I’ve Been Gone),” a gentle acoustic lament from the perspective of a road-weary musician.

“For more than a decade, I’ve traveled nearly 100,000 miles every year serving as a tradition bearer to American roots music,” says Flemons. “This journey has taken me everywhere from Australia, Malaysia, Europe, the U.K. and almost every state in America. This song is a reminder of the mantra ‘when the world seems so far away, I’ve got nothing left except my mind.’”

Read more here.

Screen Shot 2020-02-24 at 8.14.49 PM.png

Growing up in Flagstaff, Arizona, musician Dom Flemons’ father, like other local African-American men and women, often listened to the only radio station in town—a country station.

“He was very well versed in country music,” Flemons said of father, Charles Flemons, who worked for a time as a Pullman porter on the railroad. On train routes to western towns such as Winslow and Holbrook, his father actually was living out lyrics such as Charley Pride’s 1970 hit, “(Is Anybody Goin’ to) San Antone?”

“That was his life, and he had a very visceral connection to country music in a way that in Phoenix seemed a little odd,” Flemons said. “When he went down to Phoenix, he was wearing Wranglers and bolo ties.”

So, perhaps it’s not a stretch for Dom Flemons, a Grammy Award winner, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, actor, music scholar, historian, and record collector. An expert on the banjo, fife, guitar, harmonica, jug, percussion instruments, quills, and rhy0fae53_9fc15ebccb664236967d3ee821a0a248~mv2_d_2016_1512_s_2.jpgthm bones, he lives just outside Washington, D.C. with his wife Vania Kinard and their young daughter, Cheyanne Love.

Read more here.

Screen Shot 2020-02-24 at 7.57.32 PM.png

Heading west out of Salt Lake City, Interstate 80 sheds lanes as the city’s skyscrapers become indistinguishable from the mountains in the rearview mirror. Shrinking to a narrow two-lanes-in-each-direction highway, it winds through chalky white salt flats and among shallow lakes that seem to reach for the snowcapped mountains in the distance. It’s a great expanse of land, of loneliness, and of solitude. Scrubby sagebrush sprouts in the median. Over the border into Nevada, casinos crop up in every little town along this former route of westward expansion. Salt flats give way to rolling hills covered with sparse grass, sagebrush, and stunted trees; it’s easy to imagine mounted cowboys driving herds across the cracked earth. After 230 miles, as the Ruby Mountains become visible to the south, the 80 leads to Elko, Nevada.

Every January since 1985, cowboys, rodeo riders, ranchers, and poets have convened to recite poems and share songs with fans and one another at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering at the convention center here. Dozens of other events around the country celebrate cowboy poetry, but the Elko event is widely regarded as the biggest one.

Cowboy poetry emerged on the trail drives that moved cattle across the western United States at the end of the 19th century. Trail driving was grueling and monotonous: a job could last anywhere from five to nine months and offered almost no human contact apart from the people working the herd. Many cowboys were immigrants or freed slaves (one in three was Mexican, and roughly 25 percent were black), and there was little room for prejudice. They shared stories to pass the time. Around the campfires at night, traditional work songs swirled together with African American spirituals and the ditties of Mexican, Irish, and Scottish immigrants.

Read more here.