My Tiny House Soundtrack

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! 


  1. Definitely love OCMS and the Felice Bros. (especially Frankie's Gun, wow). Will check out the others! Good idea for a post.

  2. Laura, thank you for the sharing the wonderful music, especially Among the Oak & the Ash! Allow me to share this group that is popular here in Eastern N.C. Justin Casey and his group tour beyond NC. Since you are in the Asheville area, I'm sure you've heard of Wayne Erbsen, but here's a link just in case: His music and that of the late Doc Watson may not be quite the sound you like, but they have deep roots in the Appalachian music world. And finally, David Holt, whom you may have seen on PBS: He had a brief appearance in the film O Brother Where Art Thou.
    I hope you will find something/someone in this group to add to your favorites.
    Best wishes from very flat Eastern NC

    1. Thanks so much for the recommendations! I always love hearing new music.

  3. I love the Carolina Chocolate Drops and OCMS. I did NOT grow up listening to this stuff, but it's about all I listen to for some Latin music and classical. It just goes wit the life in the mountains. :) These days, we have a group of friends that get together and sing and play traditional ballads of the region. Ya'll should come with us sometime. :) You'd love it! PS - I'm linking to this in an upcoming post, if that's okay. :)

    1. You are certainly welcome to link this in any post you like.

      We would *love* to join you for a local folk singing thing. As you know, Matt is the musician in our house but I love to sing along with stuff.

      But the NewGrass sound does seem to go with life here in the mountains. It is a different pace.

  4. Thanks so much for sharing your music. I am now a huge Caolina Chocolate Drops fan!

    I'm a tiny house wantabee - and really enjoy your post.

    Kathy in Atlanta

  5. Brilliant! Love the Carolina Chocolate Drops and not just because of their name either!
    xo L tinyhouseontario.


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