UPDATE: WE WON Best Album - Compilation! Great Smoky Mountains Association's 2017 musical release, Big Bend Killing: The Appalachian Ballad Tradition, received two Independent Music Awards nominations for Best Album – Compilation and Best Music Producer – Roots / Country. Winners will be announced next Saturday, June 22, at the Independent Music Awards ceremony in New York City.
Produced by GSMA and Ted Olson, professor of Appalachian Studies and Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Country Music Studies at East Tennessee State University, Big Bend Killing: The Appalachian Ballad Tradition, features artists of today singing ballads from long ago and far away. The album celebrates Appalachia’s rich legacy of songs that tell stories, a tradition traceable to the British Isles.
Big Bend Killing features 32 recordings of traditional ballads by leading UK- and American-roots music luminaries, including Rosanne Cash, Doyle Lawson, Archie Fisher, Alice Gerrard, Sheila Kay Adams, Martin Simpson, Jody Stecher, Kate Brislin, David Holt, John Lilly, Elizabeth LaPrelle, Amythyst Kiah, and Laura Boosinger with the Kruger Brothers.
“This album offers 32 remarkable ballad performances, 31 of which had never been released,” said Olson. “Our goal with this album is to encourage people – young and old – to recognize the enduring beauty of these often overlooked narrative songs, and our hope is that more people will sing these and other ballads so that the tradition won’t fade away.”
Big Bend Killing also features an essay, track-by-track notes, lyrics, and photographs.
Rosanne Cash, Grammy winner and daughter of legendary singer/songwriter Johnny Cash, is among the featured artists on this two-disk set. Cash contributed a pair of centuries-old folk ballads, including the previously released “Barbara Allen” and a new recording of “The Parting Glass.”
“Celtic and Appalachian ballads are so close to my heart and history that each one feels like a family member,” said Cash. “This album is an essential compilation and benefits one of the most beautiful spots in America. I'm proud to be a contributor.”
“Whether established or emerging artists, the musicians on this album respect older performing styles and older repertoire and are culture-bearers,” said Olson.
Since its inception in 1953, Great Smoky Mountains Association has supported the preservation of Great Smoky Mountains National Park by promoting greater public understanding and appreciation through education, interpretation and research. A non-profit organization, GSMA has provided more than $44 million to the park during its 66-year history. For more information, visit SmokiesInformation.org.
Track Listings for Big Bend Killing