July 2011 Issue
Ohio’s Appalachia shares its musical heritage with visitors.
Although some people argue that southern Ohio is not technically part of Appalachia, most agree that the Appalachian culture there is thriving.
“When the ground gets uneven, the culture changes, too,” says Steve Smith, an Athens native, musician and expert on Appalachian studies, referring to the sudden change in topography between central and southern Ohio. Smith grew up in Athens amidst an Appalachian matriarchal culture with strong family values and a stand-on-your-own-two-feet mentality. Family, religion and a sense of place take center stage in everyday life, he says. Together they make up the backbone of Appalachian, or southern-style, culture.
Nothing defines Appalachia better than its songs. This eclectic music serves entertainment and story-telling purposes, chronicling everything from the Celtic tunes of the Scotch-Irish settlers to modern-day bluegrass. To read more, click here to subscribe. >>