The Company Stores are my favorite local band. They are very well known and beloved in Charleston, WV. With their recent set at Mountain Stage, I think/hope the band is poised for a national break-through soon. Their lovely, eclectic new album, Little Lights, has quickly become a favorite of mine.
Lead singer-songwriter Casey Litz’s lilting, robust voice at times reminds me of Rhiannen Giddens, Natalie Merchant, and Heartless Bastards’ Erika Wennerstrom, but their genre-bending, self-described “Hill Hop” sound–a mix of clangy Appalachian folk fiddles, swirling psychedelic rock guitars, big band brass, and occasional splashes of classical piano–is incomparable.
Standout tracks are “Fall From Heaven,” “Nightingale,” “Optimistic,” and “Shenandoah Fall,” but the album is fantastic in it’s entirety.
“I am Appalachia. In my veins
Runs fierce mountain pride; the hill-fed streams
Of passion; and, stranger, you don’t know me!
…How can you find rapport with me –
You, who never stood in the bowels of hell,
Never felt a mountain shake and open its jaws
To partake of human sacrifice?…
You, who never stood on a high mountain,
Watching the sun unwind its spiral rays;
Who never searched the glens for wild flowers,
Never picked mayapples or black walnuts; never ran
Wildly through the woods in pure delight,
Nor dangled your feet in a lazy creek?
You, who never danced to wild sweet notes,
Outpouring of nimble-fingered fiddlers…
I am Appalachia; and, stranger,
Though you’ve studied me, you still don’t know.”
Actress Molly Ringwald will visit Huntington, WV at 3pm Sun, Feb. 21st for a 30th anniversary screening of The Breakfast Club at the Keith Albee Theater. Tickets are $40-45 and can be purchased via the Marshall Artists Series Box Office at 304-696-6656 or Ticketmaster. Molly will share stories and answer questions after the film.
Charleston, WV — As the home of Chuck Yeager, West Virginia is accustomed to legends breaking the sound barrier. That was no sonic boom that shook The Clay Center tonight, however, it was the supersonic, aerodynamic voice of Heart’s Ann Wilson….