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Dom Flemons - Prospect Hill / NPR: Fresh Air interview

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From his vintage hat to his enormous 1920s banjo, Dom Flemons looks like he's time-traveled from a different era.

Flemons was in Carolina Chocolate Drops, a Grammy-winning group that's extended the tradition of African-American string bands of the 1920s and '30s. His new solo album, Prospect Hill, is his first since leaving the group. Flemons sings and plays guitar, banjo, bones, harmonica, fife and jug. The album reflects his interest in old-time music, blues, early jazz and R&B, and also includes a couple of original songs. Flemons grew up in Arizona, and now lives in North Carolina.

By coincidence, Flemons recorded the album the day legendary folksinger Pete Seeger died. Seeger had a major influence on Flemons and was one of the reasons he was drawn to play the banjo. Despite the sad circumstances, they enjoyed playing in remembrance of him. "That's the thing about the blues, and string-band music is the same way - it grabs to a root and it brings you out of whatever spot [you're in]," he tells host Terry Gross. "Then you can project out that energy through the songs - and it was joyful."

Flemons recently joined Fresh Air in the studio to play songs from Prospect Hill and discuss what he loves about old-time music. Read the full NPR: Fresh Air article and listen to the interview.