The Asheville-based soulful Folk/World troubadours Rising Appalachia are getting ready to hit the road again this Fall, embarking on a string of dates that takes them from Colorado up the West coast through November. This tour, called “The Groundswell Tour” is in support of the Prison Yoga Project, a non-profit organization who works to bring yoga and mindfulness to American prisons. The band has also just announced additional dates in the Southeast included in their “Winter Solstice Tour” and a “New Year’s Eve Gala with Special Guests…” in December 2015! See the ‘Tour Dates’ for tickets and more information.
Present day troubadours, Leah Song and Chloe Smith, drew from a melting pot of genres when compiling the 15-track Wider Circles album. With influences of folk, soul, roots, world music, and poetry, the album showcases the alchemy of sibling harmonies paired with banjo and fiddle duets. Joined by full-time band members Biko Casini (world percussion) and David Brown (stand-up bass / baritone guitar), Wider Circles was inspired by folk standards and traditional hymns, old mountain odes, and activist anthems that pull equally from the swampy sounds of the bayou and the contemporary twang of the Appalachian mountains. “The album is a deep reflection of the many influences and experiences we have intimately lived and have built our songs on,“ explains Leah. “Wider Circles is a subtle and powerful folk anthem.”
The album’s release also signifies a new chapter in Rising Appalachia’s “Slow Music Movement” approach to touring – an effort to promote sustainable touring practices and to be immersed in local communities. “It’s an effort to take the glitz and glam out of the music industry and bring performance back to its roots. A place where musicians are not just part of fast-paced entertainment, but instead influence the cultural shift as troubadours, activists, and catalysts of justice,” explains Leah. The ‘Slow Music Movement’ encourages musicians to try out ‘non-industry standard’ ways of bringing music into the world by “linking to local communities and staying with local friends; pursuing alternative venues for performances and supporting local businesses with farm-to-table hospitality; providing local non-profits at each show a platform to display information; exploring alternative methods of travel including train, bike, low impact vehicles, boat, horse, or simply focusing on regional touring; and encouraging concert goers to take in more than just the catharsis of the music.”