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Plugging In: Appalachia Online

By Niki King

I’ve been thinking a lot about social media lately. It’s a residual warm and cozy feeling leftover from the Appalachian Studies Association conference in Indiana, Pa., this March.

Beth Newberry and I hosted a panel about online Appalachia, where we invited several folks whose work we admire to talk about how they’re using the web and social media to extend and enrich conversation, build community and encourage social action in the region. Read more

The HillVille on Keep Hearing Voices

By Niki King

The HillVille was recently honored to make an appearance on Marie Directions’ “Keep Hearing Voices” show on Crescent Hill Radio. Marie’s show, which airs every Saturday at noon, features music, stories and news highlighting Louisville’s communities. People may also recognize her as the incredible singer/songwriter, dulcimer and guitar player about town in bands like A Girl Named Earl. And, she recently started The Local Trickle, a resource for people involved in community projects.  We had a delightful conversation about the founding of The HillVille, urban Appalachia, what we’re doing here and hope to do in the future. If you missed it, no worries, tune in here. Go for the interview, stay for the great music. Read more

Hollow: Documenting West Virginia

The HillVille unabashedly loves stories, community building and especially innovative ways to use stories to build community. So when we saw Hollow, an interactive documentary about McDowell County, W.Va., on Kickstarter, we were intrigued. We caught up with project founder and ex-App Elaine McMillion earlier this week to get the scoop.

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Behind the Scenes of “Satan Is Real”

by Marianne Worthington

Marianne Worthington, who reviewed the autobiography Satan Is Real: The Ballad of the Louvin Brothers by Charlie Louvin and Benjamin Whitmer for The HillVille, interviewed writer Ben Whitmer about his role in helping Charlie Louvin tell the story of the Louvin Brothers in Satan Is Real. Read more

A review of “Satan is Real: The Ballad of the Louvin Brothers”

by Marianne Worthington

The first distinctive quality about Satan Is Real: The Ballad of the Louvin Brothers, Charlie Louvin’s autobiography  with Benjamin Whitmer, published just months after his death last year, is the physical book itself. Readers who study this volume on an electronic reader will be denied all the corporeal pleasures of holding this cleverly designed book, which resembles a 10-cent pulp fiction classic (jacketless hardback), complete with enticing endorsements and outrageous artwork. In this case the artwork is the same as the Louvin Brothers’ 1958 classic album Satan Is Real (more on that a little later). Read more

Postcard from Appalachia: We’ll Be Back Soon

The HillVille has been on spring break and will return with lots of rad new content Thursday, April 12. In the words of famed Appalachian comedian and actor Robin Williams*, Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!'”And well, we haven’t been partying in our brief hiatus, but we have been working on a bunch of stories that we are excited to roll out in coming weeks including book reviews, interviews, art criticism and city profiles. Read more