After gaining prominence as a member of North Carolina string band Carolina Chocolate Drops, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Dom Flemons left the group in 2013 to pursue a solo career. The following year, he released Prospect Hill, an album that expanded on the Chocolate Drops’ repertoire, incorporating spirituals, proto-jazz, blues and other influences. In March, the Arizona native returned with Black Cowboys, recorded for Smithsonian Folkways and dedicated to illuminating the largely obscured history of the black Americans who inhabited and, in many cases, helped build the Old West. Myth-busting and musically rapturous, the record thrills even as it educates.
DOM FLEMONS Blues-and folk-inspired Americana artist and founding member of Carolina Chocolate Drops. See Calendar Pick on p. 10.