Dom Flemons, After the Chocolate Drops - Mixonline

Dom Flemons, After the Chocolate Drops

A founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Dom Flemons plays guitar, banjo, jug, and an assortment of reed and percussion instruments, in old-time string-band style.
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Dom Flemons and Guy Davis

A founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Dom Flemons plays guitar, banjo, jug, and an assortment of reed and percussion instruments, in old-time string-band style. He also plays blues and jazz, and his first post-Chocolate Drops solo effort, Prospect Hill, brings those American styles together via Flemons’ original songs and a varied group of players.

“We got a lot of it live,” says Jason Richmond, who recorded the album in Sound Pure Studios and mixed in his personal studio (both in Durham, N.C.). “A lot of songs started with Dom and [guitarist] Guy Davis playing off of each other in the studio, facing each other. We’d start with live sessions, and then build tracks up with overdubs.”

Flemons does almost all of the singing, and Richmond captured those parts to Pro Tools with a Brauner VMX microphone through a Chandler TG2 pre and an Anthony DeMaria Labs 1500 compressor. “That Brauner mic is mine,” Richmond says. “It’s not as clean as their VM1, but it’s still modern-sounding. It has such a great frequency response, especially for low frequencies, and the top is incredibly smooth. There are a couple of other vocalists on the album, and I ended up using Telefunken mics on them for different color, but the Brauner is an all-around stellar mic.”

On Flemons’ string instruments, Richmond put up a Coles 4038 ribbon and a Schoeps MK4. “I have a tendency to double-mike things so I can pick and choose later,” he says. “With Dom, there’s a lot of chasing him around the studio while he tries different things. I would throw up multiple mics so I’ll have choices down the road.”