Appalachian Voices entertain and educate at the Opera House
Mix four talented musicians, a nine date tour and one environmental cause, and you get the Appalachian Voices Dear Companion tour.
The tour included a show at the Pocahontas County Opera House Monday night, where the group played to a full house.
Kentucky natives Yim Yames of My Morning Jacket, Daniel Martin Moore, Ben Sollee and Dan Dorff combined their musical talents to raise awareness about mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia.
Taking cues from the protest songs of the 60s, the group used folk-rock guitars and ﾓgenre-bendingﾔ cello to accompany subtle love songs to the mountains.
Anti mountaintop removal activist and West Virginia native Larry Gibson spoke about the negative impact mountaintop removal coal mining has on the beauty of West Virginia and the toll it takes on those living in the mountains being removed.
Small only in stature, Gibon's passion for his mountains flowed through the concert-goers and his words raised them out of their seats in a standing ovation after Gibson recounted his own story of protesting mountaintop removal. His house has been shot at and his dogs have been killed. He said he liked coming to Pocahontas County because he "didn't know West Virginia still had pretty mountains."
Playing to a crowd mixed with folks from West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania and farther, the group returned to the stage for a three song encore before taking their leave for the next stop on their tour, Charlottesville, Virginia.
A portion of the proceeds from the Dear Companion tour, which also has stops in Woodstock and New York City, New York, and Newport, Rhode Island, will go to an organization devoted to ending mountaintop removal coal mining.
For more information on the cause or the Dear Companion tour, visit dearcompanion.com or appvoices.org.