One of the most under the radar and undoubtedly amazing tours rolling through the region this summer is the unique indie folk trio billed as Appalachian Voices. Consisting of Yim Yames (aka Jim James of gonzo alt-country rockers My Morning Jacket), cello-wielding soul crooner Ben Sollee, and mellow singer-songwriter Daniel Martin Moore, the group of Kentucky natives is hitting the road with a specified mission to raise awareness of mountaintop removal mining in the Appalachian Mountains. Earlier this year Sollee and Moore released an album, Dear Companion, with the same intention (Yames produced the album).
The effort is a subtle yet poignant indictment of the environmentally devastating mining practice through an emotional narrative that honors tradition but also examines personal responsibility in moving forward. Sollee and Moore deliver the message through a filter of chamber folk, new school mountain blues, and driving acoustic soul. Appalachian Voices will cover material from the album, as well as tunes from the individual members’ catalogs. Proceeds from the tour will benefit the regional nonprofit and stalwart mountaintop removal adversary Appalachian Voices—for which the tour was named. Here’s statement from the band, followed by tour dates:
“The people and the land of Appalachia are too important to us as a nation to be sacrificed for something as short-sighted as mountaintop removal coal mining. Our cultural stake in the region, from its music to its log cabins, is an indispensable part of our history and identity as Americans. People all over the world know our country music, our dances, and our stories and they call them American. They are the fruit of Appalachia.”
—Ben Sollee, Daniel Martin Moore and Yim Yames
July 22 – The Opera House – Lexington, KY
July 23 – The Bijou Theatre – Knoxville, TN
July 25 – Mountain Stage – Charleston, WV
July 26 – Pocahontas Opera House – Marlinton, WV
July 27 – Jefferson Theatre – Charlottesville, VA
July 29 – Bearsville Theatre – Woodstock, NY
More info and tickets here.