Friday, June 25, 2010

Inspiration: Rising Appalachia

I first met multi-instrumentalists Leah and Chloe Smith at an after-party for V-Day's V to the 10th celebration in New Orleans. The real-life sisters are also known as the musical team Rising Appalachia (R.I.S.E.) and they had me at hello.

Years later, they traveled up to Inspirit Common (a boutique of sacred objects in Western MA) to offer an intimate benefit concert for the emerging Pioneer Valley Red Tent movement. R.I.S.E. transformed the packed space into what felt like the deep woods, filling the room with their sweet earth vibrations, sung prayers, effortless harmonies, easy laughter and magical, bohemian sense of style. The sound is a fusion of mountain music, R&B and spoken word with global folk ballads sprinkled in. Fiddle, upright bass, drums, tambourines and clapping palms support the vocals. It's trance-inducing.

As the Inspirit Common audience trickled out, we embraced, swapped CDs and formed a spontaneous circle, talking late into the wee hours about women, power, emotion, expression and intent. I am craving a collaboration. In the interim, here's their mesmerizing music video for the song "Scale Down." Sociopolitical consciousness. Strength. Calm. Love it!

Rising Appalachia has recently released a new CD, The Sails of Self. Maybe you want to order it? I'm just saying...