SFAS Concert Series #2: Attendee Comments on The Carolina Chocolate Drops

By Alón Sagee


Screenshot 2015-04-02 16.09.27This, our second concert with SFjazz, will be a lot of musical fun for our members!  Join us on Friday, May 15, 2015 for an evening concert with the Grammy-Award Winning band, the Carolina Chocolate Drops – an exuberant and talented Appalachian string ensemble putting out some of the best Bluesy/Bluegrassy/Rootsy/Irishy and down-home fun music I’ve heard.

And just in case you missed it on last month’s Updates email, here’s a primer on these wonderful artists:

Carolina Chocolate Drops
This southern string ensemble is hard to classify. With such a wide musical repertoire, it’s hard to know how to present their unique sound. Are they a jug band from the deep south, are they minstrels, how about that Irish influence? Better you should hear and watch. I recommend the following exploration:
Their gig with the venerable Irish band the Chieftains is amazing.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuk-YxVhiSo
And their soulful side (think Joan Baez) comes out beautifully in this audio “Leaving Eden”

And finally, their Pop Single, “I am a country girl” which, if you’re not careful, may make you get up and dance!

8 thoughts on “SFAS Concert Series #2: Attendee Comments on The Carolina Chocolate Drops

  1. To all who attended this concert: Please post your comments here (you may need to sign in). You may also send an email with your comment to me directly and I’ll post it for you. Thanks!

  2. Rhiannon Giddens and The Drops grabbed hold of my heart early in the show, and wouldn’t let go. “Don’t Let It Trouble Your Mind” (Dolly Parton cover) had me tapping, swaying, and (oddly, for a tragic song), grinning. No doubt due to The Drops’ astonishing accompaniment. Double bass bliss!

    For this Drops newbie, it was an emotionally engaging experience like none in recent memory. After thinking long and hard, I would allow that Annie Haslam and Renaissance similarly pushed my button back in the ’70s. Or was that the girl I was with? Ahem.

    If anyone captured the set list, please post it. That would help me get past my fixation on the Last.fm session https://youtu.be/MBfgSrBBCKI which moved me to tears the first time I played it today. Tough week, but wtf?

    New #1 fan here, folks. ’nuff said. Well, almost. Thank you Alón, SFAS, and all that SFJAZZ. What a treat!

  3. Alon, thanks so much for organizing this outing. I had not heard of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, but I watched about a dozen of their YouTube videos and figured out pretty fast that they are terrific. The show exceeded my expectations. Yes, the sound was a tad murky. Big deal. SFJAZZ is great, the dinner was fun, and I would definitely do this again.

  4. For my wife and I, the show was totally involving, surprising and just plain wonderful! I admit that for the first two songs the bass was a mess, and the violin did not sound right, but the sound man caught it and fixed it and the rest of the show I felt like the sound was great. The dynamics and attack of that one song (I wish I could remember the name, please reply if you do) where her arm shot out to the side, on the beat, and the entire ensemble hit the same note while the light show flashed simultaneously was breathtaking! I felt it in my bones. The clarity of her voice was sublime and coherent with the rest of the music – soaring, but never overpowering it or getting lost in it. In one of the last songs, they finally let the double bass player show his stuff in a solo and he killed it! The sound was gorgeous as he danced with his instrument (I wish I had that on video to see again).

    This was a great experience for me and I didn’t want it to end. It was one of the most enjoyable concerts I’ve ever attended.


  5. Oh I’ll just chime in with more of the same. I thoroughly enjoyed the concert. I’ve Listened to the CC Drops for years on CD and vinyl, but this was my first time seeing them in concert. I highly approved of the expanded instrumentation. I think the increased energy in the SFJAZZ Center produced a great sound.
    Thanks Alon for keeping us all out there listening to great music.


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San Francisco Audiophile Society

San Francisco Audiophile Society