Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Rising Appalachia takes WorkPlay next week


With fiddle and banjo in hand, Rising Appalachia will bring a mix traditional folk, Irish and Scottish strings and contemporary jams to Birmingham’s WorkPlay stage next Tuesday.

Going on 12 years of musical activism, sisters and lead vocalists Leah Song and Chloe Smith hope to provide a unique space alongside percussionists Biko Casini and David Brown where listeners can join in to use their voices and ask questions about the world they live in.

“We try and make each one of our performances go through a series of emotions,” Song said. “We might have a traditional ballad that carries our roots and stories of traditional music, and then a stronger contemporary song that is tied to something like empowerment or activism.”

The band’s music embodies a sense of intentionality and engagement within one’s life while simultaneously bringing the audience through an American-folk fusion. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Song and Smith grew up in a musical home where they learned how to play instruments like the banjo and fiddle.

“We grew up making music at home and going to Appalachian folk revivalist festivals in places like Birmingham,” Song said. “It was really cool because the first album we created was actually a gift for our family, but the community received it really well and began to support our music.”

The band is looking forward to returning to Birmingham as they reunite with friends and bring music back to a place that inspired them from the very beginning of their careers. The group hopes to provide a performance full of traditional folk that shines a light on the power of southern culture.

“This band really breaks through false stereotypes of the south and offers a unique take on the history and culture of folk music,” said Brittany Warren, a freshman majoring in political science and Spanish. “In doing so, they allow the audience to use both their voices and minds to ask questions and make the change they want to see in the world.”

Outside of making music and performing, band members enjoy west African music, spending time in the North Carolina mountains, hiking, meditating and canoeing.

More than anything, the band spends much of their time off the road, making an impact throughout the country working with urban garden communities, prison justice initiatives and youth education.

“Simply put, they go beyond the stage,” said Lakin Aycock, a sophomore majoring in accounting. “They empower people before, during and after their performances, and to me, that’s what really matters.”

Tickets can be purchased at

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