Carolina Chocolate Drops

Genuine Negro Jig

The Carolina Chocolate Drops are a trio of young musicians intent on reviving the authentic sounds of very old Americana. Along the way, they also do covers of songs by people like Tom Waits, reinventing such pieces in a style that might once have been heard in juke joints or jubilees in the Deep South more than 100 years ago. Listening to these three talented people do what they do is a little like eavesdropping on the past, an adventure in aural time travel. If all that sounds a little dull and anthropological, it shouldn’t. When Rhiannon Giddens sings “Why Don’t You Do Right?” the classic song from the 1930s, she makes you forget any other versions you might have heard. Her voice is achingly pure, as gorgeous as they come. And, when Justin Robinson sings “Cornbread and Butterbeans,” it’s a little folktale come to life. Best of all is the title song, a haunting instrumental that transports the listener to a time before the American Civil War. It’s heartening to see a new generation of musicians becoming custodians of the richness of the ever-elusive past. The Carolina Chocolate Drops make roots music with very deep roots.