tonight we went to the Straz Center to hear a concert by the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Phil lured me there with an assertion that they were old time music performers... he failed to mention the fiddle would play a prominent role. This is a shame because while the young lady Rhiannon Giddens who leads the group is a true powerhouse of a talent - there was waaaay too much fiddling going on for my taste... the thing about music - like wine drinking- you learn what you like and I DO NOT like the fiddle.
last week or the week before we were at the Haifa Symphony at Van Wezel and I LOVED the strings - I turned to Phil and said "These violins are always what I want fiddles to sound like and they never do" I find them like fingernails on a chalk board - all screechy and ear splitting- and to tell you the truth I had a headache by intermission.
but here's the thing - this woman is a singular talent - her rendition of Ethel Waters "No Man's Mama" and an Odetta song "Water Boy" were just knock your socks off... when she is singing (or dancing) you could be carried away - but that damned fiddle just drove me over the edge- so I called the evening a neutral- not a waste but not a must see--- Phil called it a must see and when it comes to this gal's singing- I can agree she is a must hear/see. Charismatic personality and the powerhouse voice make a pretty unbeatable combination.
so look out for their tour dates and enjoy them but be forewarned- there is a lot of fiddling included....
here is a blurb about Rhiannon Giddens that I would whole-heartedly agree with-
Rhiannon is a show-stopper -- not only for her glorious voice but also for her incredible versatility. She ranges across many styles and genres, and is equally at ease singing opera, blues, gospel and Gaelic or whatever the moment takes. A rare talent!" -- Margaret Bennett, folklorist and singer.