Twenty6 Productions and DSP Shows presents Rising Appalachia live in Asbury Hall.
Tickets on sale Friday May 5th @ 10am EST – General Admission Standing Tickets: $25 Advance / $30 Day of show can be purchased at Tixr.com or the Babeville Box office (M-F 11a – 5p) fee free cash sales, 3% credit card fee. Ages 18 and over.
7pm Doors, 8pm Show
Rising Appalachia’s soulful folk-roots sound traces back to parents who prioritized culture and diversity, and to the grassroots music communities that dot the hills and valleys of the Deep South. Countless weekends spent at fiddle camps like the Swannanoa Gathering, immersed in what they affectionately call “Appalachian trance music.” Through thunderstorms and hot summer nights, firefly-chasing and bullfrog belting, they developed an affinity for the forests, groves and hidden treasures of rural Appalachia.
“Our mom and dad are folk fiddlers,” Leah elaborates. “Both have been playing in old-time jam circles since we were babies. There was music in our house five days a week. On weekends, fiddle camps and contra dances. Mom is a jazz pianist, too, even starting a gospel/Appalachian/jazz singing group with a dozen women who rehearsed at our home. In many ways, Rising Appalachia was predestined, an extension of the family tradition.”
Adjacent to those paternal influences was the raw realism of Atlanta’s kaleidoscopic ’90s rap underground, which served to strengthen the girls’ connection to the Southern metropolis they called home. “Chloe and I have always shared a deep love of urban storytelling,” Leah says. “We believe that hip-hop is a front-porch music, it’s one of our greatest contemporary folk traditions. We had these musical cultures swirling around us for our entire upbringing.”
Those disparate scenes first seeded Rising Appalachia’s unicorn sound. Before long, the women welcomed the voluminous talents of multi-instrumentalist David Brown and world percussionist Biko Casini. Each player wields an appropriately eclectic skillset, proven essential to the group’s sonic gumbo for more than a decade. Later, they added virtuosic fiddler/cellist Duncan Wickel, a prodigy from the same Appalachian summer camps of their youth.
Rising Appalachia places a laser focus on pertinent social justice issues. Both women identified as activists well before professional artisans. They consistently use their platform to activate, organize and support frontline justice work and community organizations. The messaging highlights local food issues, educates fans on feminism, the climate crisis, and prison industrial complex, among other crucial causes.
Eschewing established industry norms, Leah and Chloe Smith have followed invitation and intuition to independently forge their own path. Fifteen years and seven studio albums into an ambitious adventure that has already taken these medicine women around the world, Rising Appalachia continues spreading musical catharsis with an iridescent elixir of global soul.