Tellico: This Is Appalachia

When it comes to hard times, trouble and loss, Appalachian music might as well have the patent. The mountains are often more beautiful than bountiful. There is no second line down in the mines. Poverty and sorrow are ever present, but hardened resolve and hope are there too. The four piece band Tellico captures the spirit of Appalachia again on their second album, Woven Waters, with real life stories of love and loss and of hope and hardship put to song.

Tellico performs at Mountain Song in Brevard, NC 9-8-18

Tellico performs at Mountain Song in Brevard, NC 9-8-18

Although they are all not native to the Appalachians, the traditions and world view of the hill country and highlands are foremost in everything this four piece band does, even when they are influenced and informed by music and culture from places as far away as Japan. They are lifelong musicians who have day jobs and families, and all the while they manage to be in top form.

This episode features an interview with band members Anya Hinkle, Stig Stiglets, Aaron Ballance and Jed Willis as well as Ty Gilpin (who helped bring them to their new home, Organic Records), plus Jon Stickley of the Jon Stickley Trio, who produced earlier Tellico recordings, and who has played with Jed as far back as high school. We talk about working with Irish folk artist John Doyle, who produced their new album, how the blues is at the center of so much of Southern music, other artists who have mentored and influenced them, and how important the jam scene is to their music. There is plenty of Tellico’s music here as well, with many new songs excerpted from their performance at this year’s Mountain Song Festival, as well as the studio version of “Courage For The Morning”.

Tellico’s second album,  Woven Waters,  produced by renowned Celtic artist John Doyle

Tellico’s second album, Woven Waters, produced by renowned Celtic artist John Doyle

Thanks for visiting Southern Songs and Stories, and thanks to our supporters on Patreon. Thanks to both the Osiris Podcast Network and to Dawn Mac at Bluegrass Planet Radio for carrying the show, and to Sean Rubin for audio engineering the live music on this episode. Thanks to Tellico for their music and friendship. I encourage you to spread the word about this podcast and consider helping us by subscribing and commenting on our show, and by becoming a patron. - Joe Kendrick





"Cause folks like us don't feel no pain/ All them days just look the same."

Those two lines stayed with me the long after Anya Hinkle sang them the other night. It had been a joyous evening at our screening of Tellico's upcoming episode, and friends both old and new filled the studio with conversation and laughter. Now, the band had settled in to perform and be filmed for the third episode of Southern Songs and Stories, and all the pressure was off. It was time to relax and not be bound up in plans and checklists. It was time to breath out, and take in the music.

Aaron Ballance, Jed Willis, Anya Hinkle and Stig Stiglets play at Moonlight Mile 1-17-16. Photo: Tom Watts

Aaron Ballance, Jed Willis, Anya Hinkle and Stig Stiglets play at Moonlight Mile 1-17-16. Photo: Tom Watts

Those lyrics are from "Ever What They Say", a song from Tellico's debut album, Relics and Roses. It's a song about leaving and loss, about facing grim consequences and pressing on. It's a heart breaker. but beautiful too, and is a fitting gateway to the heart of the quartet's music.

Stig Stiglets on bass and Tellico producer Jon Stickley on guitar. Photo: Tom Watts

Stig Stiglets on bass and Tellico producer Jon Stickley on guitar. Photo: Tom Watts

We now have performances and interviews of Tellico and many other artists and friends from nine different locations and two states, filmed over the past several months. Our event at Moonlight Mile studio was a celebration of this work, and a chapter in the episode itself. There is much to be done, and in the coming weeks we hope to bring into focus a show that captures the band, those close to them, and their musical traditions and community. It will be a steep hill, but we are encouraged by both the quality of Tellico's artistry and their integrity as people. Plus, now we have witnessed that there is an audience anxious to see the final video!

Barbie Angell introducing the band. Photo: Tom Watts

Barbie Angell introducing the band. Photo: Tom Watts

Many thanks to Tom Watts, who took the photos shown here. David Simchock, a professional photographer who spent all night getting shots, has a photo gallery you can view here. Thanks to everyone who came out and who helped us put the event together! Stay tuned and we look forward to showing you the finished product soon.

 

The Big Finale, Take 2!

Last month's event to screen our episode with Tellico and film their performance in studio was postponed when lead singer Anya Hinkle became ill the day of the show. Thankfully, she has recovered and we are ready to reschedule the festivities.

Tellico perform "Waterbound" at Cowee School in Franklin, NC on 10-17-15

Join us Sunday, January 17th at 6pm for the screening of our episode with Tellico ahead of their performance in the intimate concert space at Moonlight Mile studio in Arden, NC.

We have been quite busy over the past several months making this episode, which features scenes from Tellico performances in Franklin, NC and Asheville, NC, as well as Anya in a trio setting in Floyd, VA. The episode also features interview footage of all four band members in separate settings, as well as legendary fiddler Arvil Freeman, and musicians Mac Traynham, Jackson Cunningham, and Galen Kipar.

Anya Hinkle with Arvil Freeman at her weekly fiddle lesson on 10-21-15

We hope to see you at the show!

Capturing the music of the South with Tellico

Filming has begun on our third episode of Southern Songs and Stories. Soon we will be posting updates on our travels across the western NC and southwestern VA mountains as we get at the heart of what makes the band tick, what traditions inspire them, and shoot their performances.

To help us along, visit our Kickstarter page here. We would be grateful for your support, and among the many incentives we offer, you would have the chance to be in the audience at our exclusive screening of the episode along with Tellico's performance at Moonlight Mile studio on November 15th.