Stories » Beyond old-time: Dom Flemons stakes out broad claim on Americana / Triad City Beat

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Beyond old-time: Dom Flemons stakes out broad claim on Americana / Triad City Beat

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As a 33-year-old black man playing the banjo, Dom Flemons almost throws it in your face how uncool he is.

The wide-brimmed hat, the round spectacles, the scruffy beard, the flannel shirt, the suspenders, even the way he leans into the old-time radio microphone at the end of a song and says, "Thank you very much everybody," with a slight, nervous laugh, they all peg Dom Flemons to an earlier time, not quite a century past.

Midway through his first set at the Crown in Greensboro on Sunday, Flemons - a founding member of the esteemed Piedmont black string-band ensemble the Carolina Chocolate Drops - told a story about busking on the subway when he lived in New York City from 2009 to 2013. When audiences in the subway don't dig your music, he said, "they give you a real hard stare." And they were giving him a "real hard stare" as he played "In the Jailhouse."

"Considering the times, I changed some of the lyrics," Flemons said. "Then some things started happening in our country that made me change them back."  READ THE FULL Triad City Beat ARTICLE