Today, ultra-distance runner Scott Jurek will mark the end of a 47 day journey when he summits Mt. Katahdin in Maine. If he reaches the top before 4pm, he will break the previous Appalachian Trail world speed record set in 2011 by Jennifer Pharr Davis, who completed the trek in 46 days, 11 hours, and 20 minutes. You can follow Jurek's progress here.
Jean Ritchie, largely responsible for the revival/survival of traditional ballads and mountain dulcimer as living folk arts in the United States, tradition-bearer of Appalachian culture, national treasure, has passed away at the age of 92. [more inside]
In this script, a 189,000-square-foot big-box store plays the role of “progress” and an old-fashioned, last-of-its-breed drive-in in plays the part of “nostalgia.” Their conflict, like many in the movies, is perfectly framed to represent something greater: the struggle for the identity of a small town. What, in fact, does Maryville, TN want to be? How does "the peaceful side of the Smokies" grow while maintaining that identity — and connecting thousands of tourists to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park?
How Mountain Dew Came to Perpetuate a Deep-Seated Appalachian Stereotype As Mountain Dew taps into tropes of corn-syrup-free authenticity and nostalgia for "backwoods" "renegades" and "rebels" with its throwback drink Dewshine, a daughter of Appalachia considers how the beverage reflects cultural stereotypes. [more inside]
That's Why I chose
Appalachian State Yale! Only 5 years after the original, an Ivy League school discovers the "brilliant" internet meme and decides to go for it no holds barred!
A few days back I was introduced to the Banjo Ninja [via Boingboing] and found myself instantly hooked to the 'gritty hard edge Appalachian claw-hammer and Scruggs style banjo with punk rock intensity'. The more I watched video and listened to streaming tracks on Phillip Roebuck's web site, the more I liked it, particularly Summons Song, which blew me away. Other great tunes include Little Bo Peep and Monkey Fist. The downside to my newfound musical interest is that being in Hong Kong I can't buy any of the tracks via iTunes or Amazon, which sucks royally because I would love to send Phillip some money for my favourite tracks. After searching MeFi all I could find was one brief mention in the green back in 2007 (which I missed as I don't always visit Ask MeFi), and couldn't believe Roebuck hasn't been introduced via the blue, so I hereby rectify that situation. It may not suit everyone's tastes, but I defy you not to tap your feet.
In 1948, WWII veteran Earl Shaffer decided to "walk the Army out of his system" by hiking the full length of the Appalachian Trail, Georgia to Maine, in one season. At the time, no one had attempted it, and the Appalachian Trail Conference didn't think it could be done. Not only did he complete it, setting the standard for generations of thru-hikers to follow, but he did the walk twice more in his life, the last time at the age of 79.
Music in the Digital Library of Appalachia provides an unprecedented resource for study of repertoire, technique, lore, and the musical interchanges among the region's traditional musicians. Once you know what you like, it's easy to find the music live with Blue Ridge Music Trails. Meet musicians who have grown up with that music, visit settings in which Blue Ridge folk music thrives, see traditional dancing, and in many cases, take part in the festivities. The Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, winds through the mountains of Southwest Virginia. Along the trail, the Bluegrass, Old Time, and Traditional Country music is as beautiful and rugged as the landscape itself. [previous 1, 2]
Jimmy Smith Park. Breadcrumbs so you can find your way back: Jimmy Smith Park -> About -> Rivers Park -> Dreams about Drunks -> The evolution of previously.
So you've finished hiking the Appalachian Trail, just came down from Mount Katahdin, and you're wondering what to do now. Well, there's always the International AT, which goes through the Chic-Choc Mountains on the Gaspé Peninsula before crossing over to Newfoundland. Then you'd have hiked the tallest mountains in Quebec, right? Wrong. 800 miles to the north, on the border of Quebec and Newfoundland, lie the Torngats. [more inside]
Jean Ritchie, Mother of folk music. Abigail and Balis Ritchie of Viper, Perry County, Kentucky had 14 children, and Jean was the youngest... [more inside]
Each of the following MySpace Music pages features bios and/or photos and/or videos and/or miscellaneous related materials and/or up to four songs by each of the following Old Time, Traditional, Appalachian folk (and related) artists: Lowe Stokes, Clarence Ashley, Charlie Poole, Gid Tanner and the Skillet Lickers, Roanoke Jug Band, Roscoe Holcomb, Hobart Smith, The Weems String Band, Burnet & Rutherford, Bascom Lamar Lunsford, John Masters, Dock Boggs, Tampa Joe & Macon Ed, William Stepp, Buddy Thomas, Buell Kazee, Isidore Soucy, John Salyer, Cousin Emmy, Luther Strong, Elizabeth Cotten, Fred Cockerham, G.B. Grayson, Melvin Wine, Lewis Brothers, Uncle Dave Macon, George Lee Hawkins and Wilmer Watts. And here's some general Old Time (etc.) pages, featuring various artists: Dust To Digital, Traditional Music of Beech Mountain and North Carolina Folklife Institute. [more inside]
Originally made by Native American tribes, applehead dolls are now considered a form of downhome Appalachian folk art. The late Mary Winsheimer won numerous awards for hers, which can still be purchased online from her son. You can easily learn to make them yourself; apparently one can even earn a living at it.
Is Neo-tribalism [rand.org, PDF, 297 KB] humanity's future? An ideology influenced by the Ishmael series by Daniel Quinn and that predicts the collapse of society and the necessity of ”walking away”, it's growing globally with neo-tribes already established. The Anthropik Tribe's goal is to ultimately form a "functional hunter-gatherer tribe in the future". Anthropik is part of The Appalachian Confederation, a /neo-tribal league/tribe of tribes/rhizome/ with it's own council, annual festival and plans for an army. Also, check out this movie about modern tribalism.
Appalachian State University is HOT, HOT, HOT. An analysis of a promo video for Appalachian State University that was apparently intended to make students want to come to their school.
The Appalshop, nestled in the hills of coal-stained eastern Kentucky, was founded in 1969 as a War on Poverty project designed to train young people in Appalachia for jobs in film and television. Today, it flourishes as one of the premier cultural outposts of a proud and struggling swath of America. Its projects include documentary films, a record label, and one of the best public radio stations in the country.
The Appalachian Trail is a continuous marked footpath that goes from Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in Georgia, a distance of about 2160 miles. It passes through 14 states and takes about 5 to 7 months to hike through. Hey, if a blind man could do it, so can you. If you are not actually up for hiking right this moment, you could always...(more inside)