Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Jul 04th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Crash Course

mus carolinaNew Carolina Chocolate Drops lineup gets a baptism by fire

Change is inevitable, especially in bands. Members come and go—it simply comes with the territory. Hubby Jenkins—who plays the guitar, mandolin, banjo and bones for the Carolina Chocolate Drops—knows this all too well, as he joined the band just before they started recording their fourth album, 2012’s Leaving Eden.

“Leaving Eden was an interesting album because [fiddler] Justin [Robinson] had just left the group, and they had already decided to record with Buddy Miller, and had even picked the recording dates,” Jenkins says. “It was an interesting time to be coming in, because they were ready to do different things with the new members. So it was a trial-by-fire period.”

Jenkins is not exaggerating when he says there was a steep learning curve. He suspected he needed to get familiar with the band’s most recent work, but soon discovered that was just the beginning.

“When I joined, we had about a month where we didn’t see each other, so I emailed them and asked, ‘What should I be working on? Stuff from the last album?’” he recalls. “They were like, ‘We’ll send you some stuff,’ and what they sent me was their entire repertoire! So I worked on a lot of stuff and tried to memorize as many songs as possible.”

And it only got crazier from there.

“On my first official day, within the first hour, we went to do a radio show, and then the next day we went to a gig, and a month later we were in the studio doing the album. So it was very much like ‘bam’!” Jenkins says with a laugh. “It was wild, because I was really nervous.”

Despite his anxiety, Eden became another fine addition to the Drops’ discography. The old-timey front porch folk of “Boodle-De-Bum-Bum” is a delight, while “Riro’s House” is a rousing, country-style jam that is a perfect fit for a hoedown. And when singer Rhiannon Giddens lets out her soulful vocals on the dizzying bluegrass number “Ruby, Are You Mad at Your Man?” she brings down the house in short order. The album is alive with the soul of African- American musical traditions, a constant goal for the band no matter how many personnel changes take place.

“Bands are always changing and evolving, but one of the main missions of the group is to be an all-black string band where we talk about the roots of African-American music, and be a part of that stream of musicians who are keeping that alive,” Jenkins says. “That’s what we’re looking for, members who understand and have a passion for that mission.”

Recently, the band had to go looking once again. At the end of 2013, longtime multi-instrumentalist Dom Flemons left to pursue a solo career, and cellist Leyla McCalla— who had joined for their 2012 tour slate—exited for the same reason. In their places are cellist Malcolm Parson and multi-instrumentalist Rowan Corbett. It’s forced the Drops to evolve once again, Jenkins says.

“Whenever you bring in somebody, it creates a new vibe,” he says.


Carolina Chocolate Drops will perform at 7 and 9 p.m. Tuesday, July 1, Kuumbwa Jazz, 320-2 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. Tickets are $25/advance, $30/door. For more information, call 427-2227.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

The Boards Are Back in Town

More than a century after a famed trio of Hawaiian princes first surfed in Santa Cruz, their redwood olo surfboards are returning to the Museum of Art & History

 

We Hold These Truths to Be Self-Evident

Saturday, July 4, is the 239th birthday of the United States, commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence (the U.S. astrology chart has Aquarius moon—freedom for its people, by its people). Cancer, a liberating and initiating sign, is the “gate” where Spirit enters matter. Cancer receives and distributes Ray 3 (Divine Intelligence) and Ray 7 (new rules, new rhythms, new free nation under God). Cancer represents an intelligent freethinking humanity that can and must create right economics for the world. This means a policy of sharing, an opportunity for the U.S. when Venus (money, resources, possessions, etc.) retrogrades July and August in Leo (the heart of the matter). The United States has a unique spiritual task for the world: to lead humanity within and toward the light, accomplished by its people who must first awaken to this task, learn discrimination and be directed by the soul to assume the Herculean task of spiritual world leadership. Let us review the first words of our Constitution: “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.” Let us form that union together. The following is a review of the spiritual tasks for each sign. Read all the signs. They all apply to everyone.  

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 3

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Lunch is Packed

Picnic basket lunches from Your Place, plus smoked chili peppers, and new owners at Camellia Tea House

 

What would you like the Supreme Court to rule on next?

Raising the minimum wage so that those that are in poverty now can have a higher standard of life. Greanna Smith, Soquel, Nanny

 

Bruzzone Family Vineyards

Bruzzone Family Vineyards is a small operation run by Berna and John Bruzzone. Starting out a few years ago making only Chardonnay, they eventually planted Pinot Noir on their extensive property and now make this varietal as well.

 

Ty’s Eatery

Pop-up hooks up with Santa Cruz Food Lounge for healthy comfort food