Hello Blair Pathways fans,
This has been a busy and productive month for our project! With your donations, we have been able to move forward in paying our musicians for recording costs and are looking forward to printing the CD later this summer! Here are some updates about how things are going:
New Music!: We have been receiving a lot of work from musicians this month. We now have a very clear picture of how the CD is going to sound, and wow, it’s going to be amazing! Our musicians have put a lot of skill and creativity into these works. Their love and respect for West Virginia’s labor history is evident in these pieces. In the next few weeks we plan on getting sneak peeks of these works up on the website, so expect an update soon!
Narrative: About 80% of the narrative that will accompany these songs has been written, and will be reviewed in the coming months by historians to insure accuracy. Through this narrative readers will learn about some of the classic moments of these wars- such as the Battle of Matewan and the Battle of Blair Mountain, but also be able to learn about other themes of the period that lack acknowledgment. These themes include women’s roles in the mine wars, radical politics of immigrant populations and more.
CD Release!: Mark your calendars! We have scheduled a CD release party in West Virginia for August 18th! We have an amazing line-up of musicians, including Samuel Gleaves, Jamie Laval and Morgan O’Kane. The party will take place in the early evening at the Whipple Company Store in Fayette County. We will send more details about nearby lodging options, directions etc. in the coming months.
Publishing and Distribution: We are pursuing some publishing and distribution possibilities. We hope to get this project to as wide an audience as possible, and there are several presses out there who also want the story of the mine wars to be a better-known topic. Wish us luck!
Also, see below for more developing sketches of artwork for the CD and online map!
Once again, thank you for all of your support!
with Blair Pathways
A Map of the Southern West Virginia Coal Fields. Locations with numbers indicate a track from the CD.
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