This week on Inside Appalachia we’ll visit a luthier’s shop where old instruments find new life and hear about a new comedy movie set in Beckley, West Virginia. We’ll also hear from author Neema Avashia, whose new book is “Another Appalachia: Coming Up Queer And Indian In A Mountain Place.”
In this episode:
- Comedy film set in Beckley, West Virginia
- Guitar surgeon gives old instruments their voices back
- Coming queer and Indian to a mountain location
Comedy film set in Beckley, West Virginia
Upcoming slapstick comedy “Ambrosia” is set at a quirky bed and breakfast in Beckley, West Virginia. It’s a feature film, but it’s not a Hollywood movie; both directors hail from West Virginia, as do nearly all of the cast and crew. The film is set to debut at the Raleigh Playhouse in Beckley this spring. Our Folkways reporter Clara Haizlett spoke with Beckley filmmakers Shane Pierce and Dave Gravely about the film.
Guitar surgeon gives old instruments their voices back
Bob Smakula of Elkins, West Virginia has made a career out of repairing old musical instruments so that modern musicians can continue to play them. He tries to make repairs to solve the problems of an instrument while remaining faithful to its history.
“I definitely honed my skills to try to be invisible,” he said.
“I don’t want anyone to know that I’ve ever been there except to say ‘Hey, this is playing better than usual’ or ‘This is sounding better than usual’.”
Smakula has been honing her powers of invisibility for a long time. Folkways reporter Zack Harold spoke to Smakula about his career for this week’s episode.
Coming queer and Indian to a mountain location
Author Neema Avashia grew up in a neighborhood in Kanawha County, West Virginia, as the daughter of immigrants. Her new book, “Another Appalachia: Coming Up Queer and Indian in a Mountain Place,” is a collection of essays that describe her experience growing up as an Indian — who also happens to be queer — and an Appalachian. Co-host Mason Adams spoke with Avashia about the book and her experiences.
Our theme music is Matt Jacquier. Other music this week was provided by Blue dot sessions, Jake Scheppsand dinosaur burps. Roxy Todd is our producer. Our executive producer is Eric Douglas. Kelley Libby is our editor. Alex Runyon is our associate producer. Our audio mixer is Patrick Stephens. Zander Aloi also helped produce this episode.
You can find us on Twitter @InAppalachia.