About Rising Appalachia
Rising Appalachia have been writing and performing for almost two decades.
The female fronted sister duo formed of Chloe Smith and Leah Song have set out on a mission to bring the people together through the power of music.
As they began just as the two of them, Chloe and Leah played a collection of concerts all around the world and gained a solid fan base, particuarly within the festival scene. As they spread their message of positivity and the importance of community through activism, Rising Appalachia became a well known name on the international circuit and have continued to gain exposure throughout the years.
As they developed on their experience through extensive touring, the duo were known for their hard working reputation and were soon joined by a band of musicians to create the group of Rising Appalachia as we know of it today.
Throughout their albums, one thing is certain, Rising Appalachia remain a 'live band' as the electric energy created between them when they play is what makes Rising Appalachia who they truly are, so they try to execute that as much as they can within their recordings.
Although the group makes it clear that the lyrics and vocals are a crutial and integral part to their sound, they also feature various instruments on their recordings and in live performance.
Leah Song brings her hiphop influenced spoken word and singing as well as playing the banjo and bodhran. Chloe brings her soulful vocal abilities along with guitar, fiddle and banjo too.
David Brown plays the stand-up bass and baritone guitar and Biko Casini gives Rising Appalachia it's world influences with percussion and n'goni.
They have also recently been joined by two new members, West African musician Arona Diarra on the talking drum and n'goni, as well as Irish musician Duncan Wickel on fiddle and cello.
Natural creation is at the roots of Rising Appalachia, they aim to have no boundaries when it comes to genre and musical style, so they bring to light each member's musical influences and backgrounds which helps to keep the harmony and create a kind of family approach when working together.
With their full range of instrumentation, Rising Appalachia have been known to highlight on all kinds of genres from folk, soul, hip-hop, classical, southern gospel, traditional Appalachian string band music, world and jazz.
Recording and releases
Chloe and Leah are natural singer, songwriters and after putting pen to paper, in 2005 they decided it was time to record. As Chloe turned 21, they begun their music recording career and kick started it in the most underground way, with the use of their friends basement studio. Together they set out to make a record that they could give to their family as a gift, but with the positive reaction that followed, the Rising Appalachia band was formed. As they continued to remain independant, they self-produced the album and later branched off under the same name to create a management team to help promote their work.
The talented sisters made their first four albums without signing to a record label, they showcased their own music video's via YouTube to showcase their song releases and set up a crowd funding page via Kickstarter in order to raise funds for a fifth studio record titled 'Filthy Dirty South.'
After years of hard work and dedication, their 2012 album was an instant success with the backing of $11,180.00 dollars, they were able to give to the world songs such as the album title track, along with Closer to The Edge, Missisippi Song and many more. Their album became successful, this time not just in the US but all around the globe and since the word spread, so has their music and fans have been made aware of all of their previous releases which are much loved within the Rising Appalachia community.
To this day, Rising Appalachia have released six albums; Leah and Chloe in 2005, Scale Down in 2007, Evolutions in Sound in 2008, The Sails of Self in 2010, their famous Filthy Dirty South in 2012 and most recently LEYLINES which was released in Spring 2019.
Live shows & Touring
With the success of their recordings, Rising Appalachia have gained a wide spread following and have been able to travel the world. Reaching stages across Colombia, Costa Rica, Canada, India, Puerto Rico, Europe, Sweden and of course where it all started in the United States.
Because of their nomad kind of lifestyle, Rising Appalachia are welcomed on the music festival scene and often perform to crowds in local, underground settings.
At the heart and soul of Rising Appalachia they have been able to stay true to their roots and their passions in life while making it a mission to create and perform music.
Throughout the years, Rising Appalachia have continued to combine their love for travel with their tour dates, they have taken to the seas by sailboat to British Columbia, taken train rides across the US and Europe, taken to cultural exchange programs to visit Bulgaria, Ireland, Southern Italy and Central and South America, and of course traveled by van to hit the road around North America.
As well as their love for travel, Rising Appalachia aim to bring harmony and balance to the world and fight for social justice, radical justice, environmental justice and Indigenous rights.
“We’re able to filter in so many of our passions into this project,” Chloe says. “We do a lot of activism work. We do a lot of outreach. Leah is a visual artist and she can funnel her visual eye into the project. I love to write, so that comes in. There’s a big container and canvas for our life’s work here. Music is part of it, but there are a lot of other creative vehicles that are driving Rising Appalachia.”
Communication is probably the biggest key to Rising Appalachia's career featured in their songs, within their band and of course at their live shows.
“Rising Appalachia has come out of this idea that we can take these traditions of southern music – that we’ve been born and raised with – and we can rise out of them, creating all these different bridges between cultures and stories to make them feel alive.” Leah says. “Our music has its foundation in heritage and tradition, but we’re creating a music that also feels reflective of the times right now. That’s always been our work.”
“Our songwriting ties into those traditions as well,” Chloe says. “With some of our original songs, it’s a reflection of the times. We’re folk singers and we consider this a folk album, so there’s a lot in there. There’s word of politics, of being women in the music industry, as well as a lot about our lives on the road.”
This sensational group is a must-see if you are an avid music fan, passionate about equality, love to be inspired by a bunch of talented musicians, especially in a live setting... the list goes on.
Rising Appalachia are truly talented and know just how to bring their music to the stage in a way that is clear and defined, as well as poetic and powerful. Their live shows will bring you joy, lighten up your day and become an ever-lasting fond memory for many years to come!
With a brand new album release, music video's to suit their songs such as "Cuckoo" and no doubt plenty more to follow - keep an ear to the ground and make sure you catch Rising Appalachia as they perform soon in a city near you!