Here are details on an interesting-sounding event taking place on Thursday at WCU. The word, from author, musician and Jackson County native Thomas Rain Crowe:
Asked what the impetus for the event was, Crowe says: “To press home the fact that the Southern Appalachians have ‘timed out’ on the stereotypes of this place and its peoples from the past, and that new generations and new ideas and new influences have ‘settled’ here and are at play — literally, in the sense of music, literature, history … On the one hand, it’s a celebration of where we are now, and of the place we are in, and with an optomistic eye to the future — in terms of sustainability as well as substance.”
So, what’s happening?
“On the evening of Thursday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m. on the campus of Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, a special event will be held in conjunction with and sponsored by The Mountain Heritage Center. The evening — a concert of poets, musicians, songwriters and historians — will focus on the evening’s headliner of “The New Appalachia.” The subtitle for the poster and publicity for the evening metaphorically explains the meaning of “The New Appalachia”: “No more moonshine, Li’l Abners and Daisy Maes (People ‘from here,’ not from here, and far out.)”
On the evening’s program are Western Carolina University historian and director of the university’s special collections archives George Frizzell, singer-songwriter and recording artist Angela Faye Martin, poet and rock ’n’ roll drummer Michael Revere and poet and publisher Thomas Rain Crowe. This special concert will be free to all students and to the general public. A free copy of Michael Revere’s illustrated book of writings, Appalachian Roots, will be a free gift for all those attending.
When asked about the inspiration for this event, coordinator Michael Revere, of Sylva, explained: “This evening was designed as a celebration of all things Appalachian — past and present — with an emphasis on the present day.”
“Appalachia is more than the sum of its past parts,” says Revere. “The shadowy history of the Southern mountains dark corners and characters has been over-emphasized. Our show on Dec. 8 has more to do with present-day realities and those parts of these mountains where the sun shines and people accept the outside world as being as viable and important as the hollers and hills where they call home. We want to celebrate this shift of history and consciousness as explored through the creative mediums of words and music.”
Gathering together are a handful of the region’s unique residents to address Revere’s theme and philosophical stance. Longtime native of Jackson County, George Frizzell will give a presentation with personal inflections about the strange marriage of classic rock ‘n’ roll and its possible and/or imagined influences on the history of Southern Appalachian music and culture.
Angela Faye Martin hales from Macon County. Her latest CD is titled Pictures From Home and was produced by the late and legendary Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse. Michael Revere, originally from Brevard and well-traveled through the course of his life, is back in Jackson County after several years in Montana. His lyrical and rock-beat song-style poems are both powerful and profound. He will be accompanied on the evening’s program by percussionist Gabe Wood, who is a native of Cullowhee.
=Crowe, who hails from Tuckasegee and who is known as much for his nature and environmental writing as his poetry, has performed for many years throughout the region with different variations of his spoken-word and music band Thomas Rain Crowe & The Boatrockers.
The event is free and designed for all ages, students to older adults. Donations will be accepted and will go to the Charles George V.A. Medical Center in Asheville.
For more information, contact the Mountain Heritage Center at 828-227-7129 or 828- 506-2854.”