Whose Country? Ctd
A reader writes:
The reader who wrote about the banjo should check out the Carolina Chocolate Drops, a string band out of North Carolina that formed after meeting at the 2005 Black Banjo Conference. They gave a rousing concert for a (mostly-white) Minneapolis audience, and also pitched this book, which tells the story of how "Dixie", the anthem of the South, was originally written by a pair of African-American brothers born to slave parents. (NPR summary here.)
If that makes "Dixie" a sort of flagship for what the multicultural string-band tradition became, then it's no surprise that,
"For the past fifty years, with precious few exceptions - Leon Bibb, Josh White and Taj Mahal come to mind -, African American musicians have paid very little attention to the formidable wealth of multiracial culture which permeated the South between the Civil War period and the Civil Rights era, ata crucial time when poor Blacks and poor Whites had every reason to share a similar vision of life." (Sebastian Danchin, in the liner notes to "Heritage" by the Carolina Chocolate Drops.)
The Carolina Chocolate Drops say their first commitment is to making music they enjoy; "It is an added bonus that it is a part of our culture that we are spearheading new interest in Black string band music."
Here they are with a fantastic cover of "Hit 'Em Up Style".