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Jeni & Billy | Heart of the Mountain: 200 Years of an Appalachian Family

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United States - Tennessee

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Folk: Appalachian Folk Country: Country Folk Moods: Type: Lyrical
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Heart of the Mountain: 200 Years of an Appalachian Family

by Jeni & Billy

A song, spoken word, and instrumental scrapbook of the triumphs and defeats of the Smiths across nine generations in the Appalachian coalfields.
Genre: Folk: Appalachian Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Mawmaw Ann
0:50 $0.99
2. Heart of the Mountain
4:18 $0.99
3. The Hum
3:53 $0.99
4. Polishing Stars
3:41 $0.99
5. Tazewell Justice Slain
2:25 $0.99
6. Aunt Erma
4:47 $0.99
7. A Miner's Soul
2:07 $0.99
8. Dearest Friend, My Eliza
5:00 $0.99
9. November Sky
0:40 $0.99
10. Posse Trails Killers
0:57 $0.99
11. Goldie's Chase
1:49 $0.99
12. Mine Workers Dedicate Hall
1:14 $0.99
13. Your Love Makes a Peaceful Place
3:55 $0.99
14. The Little Red Hen
0:47 $0.99
15. Warm Morning Stove
4:58 $0.99
16. Old Aunt Lou
2:52 $0.99
17. Polishing Stars Reprise
0:47 $0.99
18. Mawmaw Margie in Heaven
4:39 $0.99
19. Nothing Left to Say
5:35 $0.99
20. The Roses of California
3:46 $0.99
21. Greg & Marcy
1:15 $0.99
22. Guilty
1:00 $0.99
23. Guaranteed to Sail
2:39 $0.99
24. Pretty Saro
2:11 $0.99
25. Wedding Song
4:02 $0.99
26. Tazewell Justice Slain Reprise
2:12 $0.99
27. Narcie Smith
1:43 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

Picture a grandmother who could cure thrush in babies by breathing into their mouths; a cousin who was struck twice by lightning and survived; a grandfather who was shot down on the road to his home; an aunt who left the life of a miner’s wife to become a movie star; and a grandmother who spoke to a mysterious man named Charlie through a plastic banana.

These are the ancestors of Jeni Hankins of the Appalachian Folk duo Jeni & Billy whose new CD, "Heart of the Mountain: 200 Years of an Appalachian Family," chronicles the triumphs and defeats of the Smiths across nine generations in the coalfields. Jeni has been called her family's "kinkeeper" because she and Billy have spent the last ten years collecting Smith family stories, transforming them into songs, and sharing them across the world.

After hearing Jeni & Billy's newest songs, Kristi Higgins of the Village Reporter described the experience of going to a Jeni & Billy concert as "listening to a photograph album." That album is full of gingerbread, birthdays, funeral processions, callused hands, dinner buckets, and crisp white shirts hung out on the line.

Billy is a Grand Ole Opry alum who has opened for countless major country and folk legends including Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, and Tom Paxton. His expert musicianship on guitar, banjo, harmonica, and harmony vocals shows why he has played on hundreds of records and thousands of stages across the USA, Canada, and Europe.

Jeni grew up in the birthplace of country music just a county over from the Carter Family and just across the Kentucky border from Jean Ritchie and Loretta Lynn. With a voice often compared to Hazel Dickens and a poetic wit often compared to Flannery O'Connor, Jeni brings authentic Southern Appalachian grace and grit to their music. As Rob Weir wrote in Sing Out, "Jeni has that born in the bone twang."

Rob Weir continues, "Jeni Hankins is a true heiress of the mountain crown. Call it good. Call it authentic. Call me anytime Jeni is singing and Billy is playing and singing with her."



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