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Arts & Culture

CD of the Month: The Mountain Minor (Motion Picture Soundtrack)

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Our featured album this month is a movie soundtrack that, in some ways, is a musical soundtrack of part of the Miami Valley’s history.

The Mountain Minor chronicles the journey of an Eastern Kentucky family that migrated to Southwestern Ohio during the Great Depression. And music was the fiber that held them together, not just from day to day, but from generation to generation.

Rather than have non-players mime to recordings, Director Dale Farmer used professional musicians to play the various family members. And all the music was recorded, live, on the movie set with just a single microphone. The result is a broad sampling of genuine, world-class performances of tunes, spanning history from old England to today. The accompanying 16-page booklet gives the backstory to the making of the movie and the curation of these songs.

Featuring the likes of Elizabeth LaPrelle, Ma Crow, The Tillers, Dan Gellert, Asa Nelson, Hazel Pasley, and more, these 39 tracks are a celebration of Appalachian culture. If that is part of your heritage, these songs may transport you through time. Or if you are new to the genre, this collection is an excellent introduction. (Also of great note are the performances by Asa and Hazel--at the time, only 11 and 12, respectively--whom we will surely be hearing about for years to come.)

I hope you will donate to WYSO and claim your copy. It’s a local movie using local artists showcasing local culture. And when you donate, you support your local public ration station.

It hardly gets better. And check the listings on Dayton’s ThinkTV for several airings of The Mountain Minor throughout December.

Thanks for listening. And thank you for supporting WYSO.