Dom Flemons And The Black Cowboy Song

When cowboys come to mind, they may be real-life people turned legends — Billy the Kid, or Wyatt Earp, or Annie Oakley, let’s say.  Or they may be fictional — Hopalong Cassidy, or the Marlboro Man, or one of many roles featuring John Wayne.

All of these cowboys are white.  And that overlooks history: there were also black cowboys, and they played an important role in the American West.

Musician Dom Flemons has been thinking a lot about those cowboys, and his forthcoming album features their songs. Flemons joins us from the studios of WBEZ Radio in Chicago.

On Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 2 p.m., he’ll be at the Winchester Cultural Center in Clark County, NV. And next week he performs at the annual National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko.

Flemons is also the host of the American Songster Radio Podcast, which is a production of North Carolina Public Radio/WUNC.

Read more here.

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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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NEW ALBUM & TOUR: MARTIN SIMPSON & DOM FLEMONS – EVER POPULAR FAVOURITES

Listen below to John Hardy, from the forthcoming new album ‘Ever Popular Favourites’ featuring English folk singer, guitarist, and songwriter Martin Simpson and Dom Flemons who co-founded the Carolina Chocolate Drops. The album features songs recorded live during the duos 2015 sold-out tour and will be released on 7th October via Fledg’Ling Records. John Hardy tells the story of a black employee of the Shawnee Coal Company of West Virginia who on January 9th, 1894 was hanged for the murder of Thomas Drews. He took seventeen-and-a-half minutes to die in front of a crowd of 3000…as it says in the liner notes…so much for “bad men”.  Read more here.

 

Back on the Road with Old Crow Medicine Show

Hello Folks!

This month I’m going to be getting back on the road with my good friends, Old Crow Medicine Show!

It is such a pleasure to be able to share the stage with these gentlemen!

Just to recap for folks who don’t know my connection with this Grammy-Award Winning Band:

In 2004, I was living in Phoenix, Arizona, my hometown.  I picked up a copy of Old Crow’s album, “O.C.M.S.” and my mind was blown.  I had been performing folk songs for several years by that point but I heard Old Crow and knew that this was a band that was destined for greatness.  Years later, I met Willie Watson at a festival gig when I was playing with the Carolina Chocolate Drops.  Willie introduced me the rest of the band and I have been friends with them all since.  It brings me so much joy to be able to not only play music with musicians I truly respect but to be able to call these musicians my friends as well.  This will be a dozen shows with them at this point.

I will be featuring the Trio at these shows.  Brian Farrow will be on the bass and fiddle while Dante Pope will be playing drums and rhythm bones!

The Trio was featured last year in their music video “Brushy Mountain Conjugal Trailer” from their Grammy-winning 2014 album, Remedy.

We’ll be playing on these dates:

August 11: GIlloz Theater- Springfield, MO

August 12: The Rococo Theatre- Lincoln, Nebraska

August 22: Salt Lake City, UT