Big Bend Killing album wins Appalachian Studies Association award

Big Bend Killing: The Appalachian Ballad Tradition has been awarded the Jack Spadaro Documentary Award from the Appalachian Studies Association for the best documentary media project of 2017.

The two-disc set is an effort by the Great Smoky Mountains Association in support of their management of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It contains 32 traditional folks songs native to the region, performed by top artists in the world of bluegrass, folk, old time, and alt-country music. Featured performers include Doyle Lawson, Alice Gerrard, Laura Boosinger, David Holt, Rosanne Cash, Martin Simpson, Jody Stetcher, and many others for a total of more than two hours of music.

The project also includes extensive liner notes, written by Ted Olson, Appalachian Studies Professor at East Tennessee State University.

The Appalachian Studies Association is an academic organization based in West Virginia which exists to foster and support the study of Appalachian life, history, and culture in higher education. Awards are presented each year during their annual conference. The documentary award has been given since 2005 in honor of Jack Spadaro, a coal mining activist from West Virginia. It honors the best film, video, radio, television, or other media presentation on Appalachia or its people produced each year.

Big Bend Killing is the fourth recording that Olson has produced for the Great Smoky Mountains Association since 2010. The previous release, On Top Of Old Smoky, also received awards, including Best Tribute Album by the Independent Music Awards and Most Innovative Product by the Alliance for Public Lands.

All of these albums can be purchased from the Great Smoky Mountains Park official store.

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John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.