PREMIERE: Carolina Chocolate Drops’ Dom Flemons steps out solo with “Have I Stayed Away Too Long”

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Dom Flemons | photo by --
Dom Flemons | photo courtesy of the artist

Dom Flemons, founder of Grammy Award winners Carolina Chocolate Drops, has announced the release of a new solo effort called Prospect Hill.  The full-length comes a year after Flemons left his southern string band and sees the North Carolina musician stepping into comfortable shoes as he performs a range of folk, blues and jazz, though he has also incorporated electric guitar into some of the compositions.

Today we have the premiere of “Have I Stayed Away Too Long,” a song that has been performed mostly as a slow country ballad.  But Flemons adds some spunk with crisp instrumentation and upbeat syncopation, rejuvenating the song with some classic frontporch twang.  From Flemons:

I first heard this song on the Arhoolie Records album Blind James Campbell and His Nashville String Band. This is a real “tear in your beer” classic from the lesser-known black string band musicians that busked on the streets of Nashville next to the Grand Ole Opry. It turns out that this was a hit for Jim Reeves, as well as Willie Nelson, though I have heard neither of these versions. The first country music I ever heard were songs that my dad would sing around the house. It’s been a great thrill to be able to play the Grand Ole Opry several times over the years. One time, I sent my dad a photo of his favorite country singer, Charlie Daniels, and me. Sometimes life can be a trip!

Dom Flemons will perform at XFest in Telford, PA on June 14th.  More information can be found here.  Listen to the premiere of “Have I Stayed Away Too Long” below.