17 April 2020

Music and the South in the present crisis

The BIB editor writes:

Two items just published in The Bitter Southerner online magazine will be particularly meaningful for BIB readers. 'The hope to be heard', an article by author and lecturer C.H. Hooks, tells the stories of fourteen people involved with music in the South during the present crisis, all of whom were asked: 'Where do you find hope?' Of the fourteen, the most closely involved with bluegrass music is Maria Ivey of the IVPR public relations company. However, the issues faced by all of them will be familiar to everyone in bluegrass.

University teacher Susan Jennings Lantz contributes 'West Virginia: practicing [sic] social distancing since 1863', which surveys with grim humour how life and culture developed in WV conditions up to the present, and ends: 'We aren’t holding out hope anyone will be able to help us besides ourselves, because, as history has shown us, they rarely do.' Professor Lantz's cheerful account of the origins of Scots-Irish settlement may raise eyebrows here and in Scotland, but she does stress the ethnic complexity of Appalachia.

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