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Oscar Parsons: City Boy with a Country Sound

By Niki King

In honor of our Roots ‘n Boots music issue, ex-App Oscar Parsons shares his story of how he got to be a fiddler in a bluegrass band in a flat, almost mid-western city miles away from his mountain south home.       Read more

Roots & Boots Radio Redux

Did you miss our appearance on DJ Michael Young‘s radio show “Roots ‘n’ Boots” on WFPK last Sunday?

Fear not, the segment is now posted online for you to hear over and over again. Do we sound like you thought we would? Michael was a gracious host and led us in a great conversation about the similarities between our two platforms and our shared audiences. We also met The Country Gentleman, an icon of bluegrass radio programming, Mr. Berk Bryant who has hosted the program “Sunday Bluegrass” for more than two decades. We stopped short of asking for his autograph (Dude has a pompadour!).

Check out the interview over on WFPK’s Website and  hear why we started The HillVille and what topics and stories we have planned for you!

Also, remember if you live in a desert of good radio, you can stream live both these good fellas’ shows from “Roots ‘n’ Boots” is on each Sunday from 5-8pm and “Sunday Bluegrass” is on from 8-11pm.

Air Devil’s Inn on a Saturday Night: On Dive Bars and Bar Bands

By Beth Newberry

Photos by Jeremy Brooks and Darrell Mankin

Air Devil’s Inn is most alive on a summer night when the humidity is high, and the heat makes your clothes feel a little closer to your skin, a little heavier on your body. Air Devil’s Inn, or ADI to the regulars, is the first bar I found when I moved to Louisville. Read more

Books for the Roots and Boots Buff

By Niki King

Here are a few fave rootsy music reads we’ve come across recently, loved well through the years and are looking forward to in the near future.  Read more

The HillVille on Roots ‘N’ Boots Radio Show Sunday

We’re plum tickled to be appearing this Sunday, March 11, 2012, on the Roots ‘N ‘ Boots radio show, which airs from 5-8 p.m. (EST) on WFPK (91.9) out of Louisville, Ky. Fear not, friends who live outside of the Louisville listening area, you can stream the program live via WFPK’s Web site. Read more

Hillbilly Artifacts: Berea College Documents Stereotypes

by Beth Newberry

Old school Mountain Dew cans. Miniature moonshine jugs. Outhouse-themed ceramics. Are these mass-produced items of hillbilly, pop culture kitsch or valued items in a museum collection? Read more

Love’em or Hate’em: Shelby Lee Adams’ Exhibit Heads to Louisville, Chicago

Matt Frassica of The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Ky.) published a preview today of  Appalachian photographer Shelby Lee Adams’ three-month exhibit at the Paul Paletti Gallery in Louisville, showing from March 1-May 31, and from May through June in Chicago. The prominent photographer is best known for his black and white environmental portraits of multi-generational Appalachian families living in isolated, rural areas. Described by some as documentary and others as Gothic and exploitative, most viewers and critics agree Adams’ body of work is compelling. Read more

Chatting with Scholar, Author Emily Satterwhite

By Niki King

We here at The HillVille can’t get enough of Emily Satterwhite’s thought-provoking book Dear Appalachia: Readers, Identity, and Popular Fiction since 1878, in which she examines how readers receive best-selling Appalachian fiction. We recently caught up with Satterwhite for a quick, follow-up conversation about the new release.  Read our review of the book here.

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Follow-up: “I Love Mountains Day” News Round Up

By Beth Newberry

Photo contributed by DL Duncan

Tuesday, Feb. 14, marked the annual I Love Mountains Day lobbying event, march and rally at the Kentucky State Capitol. Sponsored by Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, a state-wide citizens’ group focused on social change, the event drew between 1,000 and 1,300 attendees from within the state and from citizen and environmental groups in neighboring states. Read more

Making Mountain Music: Sam Shinault is Back Home Proud

Welcome to another installment of our “Back Home Proud” series, a re-occurring feature in which Apps and Ex-Apps tell us, in their own words, what their Appalachian identity means to them. Today we hear from Sam Shinault, a photographer, guitarist and mandolin player for the Two Dollar Bill Band, an old-time, bluegrass and newgrass band in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.     Read more