Sisters Leah and Chloe Smith, known musically as Rising Appalachia, have debuted a live performance video of the second single Cuckoo from their new full-length album Leylines,. This album will be released on 3rd May, 2019. Paste Magazine calls the track “upbeat and sturdy… rustic Appalachian music revamped for 2019. The studio version of “Cuckoo” will be released on Friday, but fans can pre-save the track on Spotify here. In February of this year, the band released Harmonize as the first single, which was premiered by Rolling Stone.
Leylines, the band’s seventh studio album, was produced by Joe Henry—the title alluding to the concept of invisible lines believed to stretch around the world between sacred spaces, bonded by a spiritual and magnetic presence. That deep sense of connection is key to understanding Rising Appalachia as a whole.
For the ten-day recording session in Marin County, CA, Rising Appalachia called on producer Joe Henry, along with longtime band members David Brown (stand-up bass, baritone guitar) and Biko Casini (world percussion, n’goni) and two new members, West African musician Arouna Diarra (n’goni, talking drum) and Irish musician Duncan Wickel (fiddle, cello) to bring new life to the band’s blend of world music laced with their own southern roots, creating an inviting folk album. Although Leah and Chloe Smith consider their voices to be their primary instrument, Leah also plays banjo and bodhran on the album, while Chloe plays guitar, fiddle, and banjo. Special guests on Leylines include folk hero Ani DiFranco, soulful songwriter Trevor Hall, and jazz trumpeter Maurice Turner.
Leylines runs the gamut with standout songs, all of which are freshly inspired and inspiring. “Cuckoo” brings together banjo, West African n’goni, and Irish fiddle to tackle the old-time Appalachian fiddle tune with a driving fervour. The uplifting and simple Sunny Days brightens the day with no more than the Smith sisters’ blend of voices and basic back beat hand claps for percussion. Rising Appalachia’s longtime favourite Ani DiFranco contributes her vocal stylings to Speak Out, a musical urge to protect the American South’s diversity, culture, and environmental wealth from the negative impact of consumption and capitalism in its modern age.
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 – Rising Appalachia.
Last year, the band released a duo version of Resilient. NPR praised the track as an uplifting, original folk anthem and Rolling Stone called their sound Protest Music for the modern age bolstered by delicate, skilful musicianship and otherworldly vocal harmonies. A full-band version of Resilient can be heard on the new album.
Rising Appalachia has toured British Columbia by sailboat, traversed the U.S. and Europe by train, and engaged in immersive cultural exchange programs in Bulgaria, Ireland, and Southern Italy, as well as Central and South America—not to mention the countless miles in their tour van. Tour highlights include Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in San Francisco, Music Hall Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York, Boulder Theatre in Boulder, Colorado, and the Showbox in Seattle, Washington. The band’s routinely packed rooms around the globe are a testament to their self-built success and extremely loyal fan base, with no small degree of stubborn independence.
For more information, please visit the website.
Pre-order (digital, cd, or vinyl) Leylines here.
USA Tour Dates:
- Apr 20 – Asheville, NC, Salvage Station
- May 5 – New Orleans, LA, One Eyed Jacks
- May 8 – San Diego, CA, Music Box
- May 10-11 – Bakersfield, CA, Lightning in a Bottle
- May 24 – Kerrville, TX, Kerrville Folk Festival
- Jun 15 – Palisade, CO, Palisade Bluegrass and Roots Festival
- Jul 5 – Santa Cruz, CA, Rio Theatre
- Jul 6 – Big Sure, CA, Esalen Institute, Calif.
- Aug 2 – Loveland, CO, ARISE Music Festival
|I Believe In Being Ready
Speak Out (Featuring Ani DiFranco)
Love Her In The Mornin’
Shed Your Grace (Featuring Trevor Hall)
Indigo Dance (Featuring Maurice Turner)
About Rising Appalachia:
As world travelers for nearly two decades, Rising Appalachia have merged multiple global music influences with their own southern roots to create the inviting new folk album, Leylines. Remarkably the band built its legion of listeners independently—a self-made success story that has led to major festival appearances and sold-out shows at venues across the country. Rising Appalachia is composed of co-founders and sisters Leah Smith (vocals, banjo, bodhran) and Chloe Smith (guitar, fiddle, banjo) as well as David Brown (stand-up bass, baritone guitar), Biko Casini (world percussion, n’goni), Arouna Diarra (n’goni, talking drum), and Duncan Wickel (fiddle, cello).