The magical heart of the Carolina Chocolate Drops phenomenon isn't simply the group's revival of the African-American string band tradition. It's the members' unbridled spirit, combined with scholarship and musical chops, that carries the Drops' old-timey roots music into the contemporary realm — etched with hip-hop and soul elements — and beyond. Following the Grammy-winning Genuine Negro Jig is the equally alluring Leaving Eden (produced by all-around Nashville MVP Buddy Miller), and a few lineup changes. Core members Dom Flemons and Rhiannon Giddens are now joined by multi-instrumentalist Hubby Jenkins and episodically by cellist Leyla McCalla and percussionist Adam Matta. The material on Eden is drawn from Piedmont string and jug band music, bluegrass, country, blues, gospel, fife-and-drum, the Georgia Sea Islands, and even South Africa. Opening will be Canadian band Po' Girl, which focuses on the vocals and songwriting of Allison Russell and Awna Teixeira, who tap an extra wide spectrum of roots music, ranging all the way from early jazz to bluegrass and French folk.
Wed., May 2, 7 p.m., 2012