- Album name: Leaving Eden
- Group name: Carolina Chocolate Drops
- Year: 2012
- Number of discs: one
- Label: Nonesuch
- Collection: Friedman
- Buy it on Amazon: $23.99
Level of familiarity before listening
I have no familiarity with this at all.
What I expected
I see a fiddle and a banjo on the album front and back, and the photography is sepia-toned and old-timey, so I’ll guess folk or country.
What it was actually like
This was definitely old-timey, and many of the songs had a strong bluegrass influence. I liked it.
My favorite song was Po’ Black Sheep, which was the most richly instrumented, with pretty minimal vocals and great bluegrass style fiddle. It was nicely up tempo and it reminded me a bit of the traditional music of the British isles, which was unusual but not surprising.
Riro’s House was also great, with a very bluegrass style fiddle and banjo, though I thought the drum did not help at all. Ruby, Are You Mad at Your Man? was also bluegrass style, with some very powerful singing, as was I Truly Understand That You Love Another Man. Run Mountain was also in that bluegrass style, except with a flute of some kind, which was really interesting to hear, and I enjoyed it, but did not think I would have enjoyed a whole record of it.
Other parts explored different styles in the same traditions. Country Girl had much more of a modern country style, sounding the most like what I might expect to hear on a country radio station, and I liked it the least. The title track Leaving Eden, also not one of my favorites, had no banjo and was pretty slow.
No Man’s Mama was the most ol-timey sounding song, primarily vocals and banjo, and Boodle-De-Bum-Bum used the banjo as percussion.
Mahalla was a really fun banjo instrumental, with guitar backing, that they should be using to open or close all of their concerts.
4/5: would listen again