There are two most important aspects to the way I live. Number one, of course, is living in a tiny off the grid cabin. But number two is the fact that this cabin is located in a very specific part of the country - the Smoky Mountains. This part of Appalachia has a rich cultural history and I am merely a newcomer to the experience.
One of the things that has become very important to me since moving down south is the music of the region. I had no idea how much I would like bluegrass, and more specifically some of the newer bluegrass music that has come out in recent years.
I thought I might share my 5 favorite albums. This music makes me feel at home here on our mountain.
1. Among the Oak and Ash - Devil Ship
I have been a fan of Josh Joplin since long before I moved to the south. I discovered his project, Among the Oak and Ash, several years ago when they released their first (self titled) album. The idea was to take traditional folk music from Appalachia and put it to a more rock sound. I think it was quite successful. I absolutely adored their second album, Devil Ship. The musicians changed from the first to the second album. Here is a sample for you.
2. Carolina Chocolate Drops - Leaving Eden
I discovered this great band actually on the Hunger Games Soundtrack. So I bought this album. It quickly became a favorite. They are a unique blend of old and new music mixing traditional Appalachian porch music with beat box. Don't worry, I'll give you a sample as well. This is my favorite song on the album.
3. Old Crow Medicine Show - OCMS
This is a softball when it comes to "newgrass music." Most people know who they are in mainstream music today. It is hard not to share "Wagon Wheel," their most popular song. Instead I will share this one.
4. The Felice Brothers (Self Titled)
I didn't think I really liked this band the first couple times I heard them. They are a folk/country brand from upstate new york. But I have really fallen in love with them. Check out my favorite song "Frankie's Gun."
5. Sarah Jarosz - Song Up in her Head
Other than Josh Joplin, Sara Jarosz is the only other musician on this list I have seen play live. She is an amazing performer. This was her first album and I really love it. Check out my favorite track from that one.
I hope you've enjoyed this short musical interlude!