On November 11, 2015

Grammy winner, Dom Flemons performs at Chandler Music Hall

By Tim Duffy

Dom Flemons

Saturday, Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m. — RANDOLPH — Dom Flemons of the Carolina Chocolate Drops performs at Chandler Music Hall main stage on Saturday, Nov. 14 for a 7:30 p.m. show.  Flemons is the “American Songster,” pulling from traditions of old-time folk music to create new sounds. Having performed music professionally since 2005, he has played live for over one million people just within the past three years. As part of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, which he co-founded with Rhiannon Giddens and Justin Robinson, he has played at a variety of festivals spanning from the Newport Folk Festival to Bonnaroo, in addition to renowned venues such as the Grand Ole Opry.

A multi-instrumentalist, Flemons plays banjo, guitar, harmonica, fife, bones, bass drum, snare drum and quills, in addition to singing. He says that he incorporates his background in percussion to his banjo playing. His banjo repertoire includes not only claw-hammer but also tenor and three-finger styles of playing.

Flemons started his career as a solo musician, playing at local coffeehouses in Arizona, where he was raised. With a growing interest in 50’s rock n’ roll, early country, and folk, he settled into pre-WWII music and joined the Carolina Chocolate Drops. The Carolina Chocolate Drops, from Durham, N.C., quickly rose to stardom, winning a Grammy for their first album “Genuine Negro Jig.” Though the trio of musicians were originally playing traditional music, mostly old-time from the Piedmont region of North Carolina, they strove to recreate and draw upon popular sounds as well. Rolling Stone Magazine described the Carolina Chocolate Drops’ style as “dirt-floor-dance electricity.”

In 2011, Dom Flemons left the group and began pursuing his own performance career. He’s been featured on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and has received praise from The Boston Globe, Paste Magazine, Living Blues Magazine, and more. He has a hidden talent, which surely has benefited his career as a ‘songster’ — he is a national champion slam poet, winning two national competitions in a row (2002 and 2003).

Flemons digs deeply into ragtime, Piedmont blues, spirituals, southern folk music, string band music, jug band music, fife and drum music, and ballads idioms with showmanship and humor, reinterpreting the music to suit 21st century audiences.

Tickets are available by calling the Chandler box office between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m. at 802-728-6464 or online at www.chandler-arts.org. For more info, visit www.domflemons.com.

Chandler Music Hall is fully accessible and equipped for the hearing impaired, located at 71-73 Main Street, Randolph.

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