Rising Appalachia brings soulful folk to Vilar Performing Arts Center on Jan. 11 | VailDaily.com

Rising Appalachia brings soulful folk to Vilar Performing Arts Center on Jan. 11

Rising Appalachia merges global music influences with their own southern roots.
Vail Valley Foundation/Courtesy photo
If you go …
  • What: Rising Appalachia
  • When: Wednesday, Jan. 11, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek
  • Cost: $35, or part of the VPAC’s Pick 3/5/8 winter ticket package
  • More information: Visit vilarpac.org/rising-appalachia

Founded by sisters, Rising Appalachia has toured British Columbia by sailboat, traversed the U.S. and Europe by train, and engaged in immersive cultural exchange programs in Bulgaria, Ireland, Southern Italy, Central and South America – not to mention the countless miles in a van. On Wednesday, Jan. 11, the group with southern roots and urban flare perform at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek at 7 p.m.

“Rising Appalachia has come out of this idea that we can take these traditions of southern music — that we’ve been born and raised with — and we can rise out of them, creating all these different bridges between cultures and stories to make them feel alive,” Leah Smith said.

As world travelers for nearly two decades, Rising Appalachia has merged multiple global music influences with their own southern roots to create the inviting new folk album “Leylines.” The band has remarkably built its legion of listeners independently — a self-made success story that has led to major festival appearances and sold-out shows at venues across the country. However, for the first time, they opted to bring in a producer for the new album, teaming with the legendary Joe Henry on the sessions.

“As far as recording goes, we’re open creatively, but we’ve often preferred elements of live recording,” Smith said. “I mean, we’re folk musicians at our core.”

For this special performance band members include Leah Smith (vocals, banjo, bodhran), David Brown (stand-up bass, baritone guitar), Biko Casini (world percussion, n’goni), Irish musician Duncan Wickel (fiddle, cello) and special guest Lily Henley.

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Sisters Leah and Chloe Smith grew up in urban Atlanta as the city’s hip-hop scene began to flourish. They absorbed those rhythms through the music they heard at school, then would travel with their family to fiddle camps all across the Southeast on the weekends — their parents are both folk fiddlers themselves. The sisters moved to New Orleans in 2007.

Fifteen years and seven studio albums later, Rising Appalachia continues spreading musical catharsis with an iridescent elixir of global soul. Hear it for yourself at the Vilar Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, Jan. 11.

Tickets to Rising Appalachia at the VPAC are $35, or part of the venue’s Pick 3/5/8 winter ticket package. Visit VilarPAC.org/rising-appalachia for more information. The Vilar Performing Arts Center is celebrating 25 years of providing world-class entertainment in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Visit VilarPAC.org for the full winter lineup.

Rising Appalachia is led by sisters Leah and Chloe Smith
Vail Valley Foundation/Courtesy photo

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