The Ballad of Kidder Cole from Appalachian Road Show

Billy Blue Records has released a new single from their current album, Jubilation, by Appalachian Road Show.

This latest, The Ballad of Kidder Cole, is a perfect demonstration of why this group has won a legion of fans from their three recordings and many live shows over the past few years. First-rate storytelling and top-level musicianship in service to driving bluegrass music… how can you miss?

Fiddler Jim Van Cleve explains a bit about this song, written in the early 20th century by Felix Eugene Alley, describing a dance where his cousin stole away the attention of one Kidder Cole. Alley went on to become a prestigious attorney and judge in North Carolina.

“He was from Haywood County, NC where I grew up. I didn’t know about Mr. Alley until we set about working up this song. He wrote a tale about a girl named Kidder Cole, who he tried to dance with and win the affections of for the entire song. Felix was relatively unsuccessful with Ms. Cole, it would seem, but the whole thing has such a fun tongue-in-cheek vibe about it, and the way we ended up arranging it, it just has a lot of fun moments.

The backdrop for where the story takes place is square dances back in the barn dance era in Appalachia, so we took some of the classic dance and fiddle tunes and weaved them into and around the melody of that song,.

It’s so much fun! We hope folks have as much fun listening to it as we do playing it!”

Appalachian Road show is Barry Abernathy on banjo and lead vocal, Van Cleve on fiddle, Zeb Snyder on guitar, Darrell Webb on mandolin, and Todd Phillips on bass.

Have a listen, and see if you can name all the fiddle tunes.

The Ballad of Kidder Cole, and the full Jubilation album, are available now from popular download and streaming services online. Audio CDs and vinyl LPs can be ordered directly from the artists.

Radio programmers will find all the tracks from Jubilation at AirPlay Direct.

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About the Author

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.