03 March 2012

Joe Thompson, 1918-2012

Thanks again to Bill Whelan for news of the recent death of Joe Thompson of North Carolina, veteran fiddler of the black old-time string-band tradition, and mentor of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, who have spearheaded the revival of that tradition. Bill says: 'I was lucky enough to spend a week with him many years back - a real honour.'

Joseph Aquilla 'Joe' Thompson, born 9 Dec. 1918, died of pneumonia on 20 Feb. 2012. Numerous tributes on the internet include those from the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the About.com.Blues website, quoting Dom Flemons of the Chocolate Drops.

Joe Thompson recorded the album Family tradition (Rounder 2161), released in 1999; samples can be heard here and on Amazon. He can be seen and heard with the Chocolate Drops (in the trio configuration that visited Ireland four years ago) in this YouTube video, and also recorded with them this album.

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