Boston’s Cold Chocolate has released their second CD, and first full-length project. The eponymous album contains 11 new songs from the band, and a John Hartford cover.
Unlike so many Boston-area bands who form within one of the city’s many institutions of higher learning, this bunch got their start at Ohio’s Oberlin College. It was there that guitarist and songwriter Ethan Robbins met bassist/vocalist Kirsten Lamb. After moving to Boston, the two hooked up with banjo player James McIver, and instead of completing the group with a mandolin, they brought in Ariel Bernstein on snare drum and various forms of percussion.
The band’s approach is decidedly modern, with as much an influence from folk and swing as from hard driving bluegrass. Song topics also more reflect the urban environment in which they live than the country or rural themes that dominate so much bluegrass from southeastern artists.
Brendan Cooney guests on piano on several tracks, as does Forrest O’Connor on mandolin.
Cold Chocolate performs regularly in the New England area. You can see their tour schedule online.