The Mountain Minor

“A man never knows who he is until he knows where he’s come from” –Charlie Abner


Deeply infused with the traditional Appalachian musical genres of Old-time and Bluegrass, The Mountain Minor tells an overlooked story about the people and culture behind the resurgence of American Roots Music today and highlights artful responses to the difficult circumstances of human migration.  In the 1920s-1950s, millions of Appalachians left their homes in the mountains and migrated to urban Midwestern centers in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio.  The Mountain Minor is based on the true story of a life-worn Charlie Abner, a generation later, as he struggles with leaving his present life and family in Cincinnati, Ohio to return to the Kentucky Mountain home and musical heritage that once defined him.  The story is partially told in flashbacks to depression era Eastern Kentucky, when Charlie’s parents, Oza and Vestal Abner, face the difficult decision to leave the way of life they know and movie to Ohio for employment and better opportunities.  This film is unique in that all of its principal actors are traditional musicians-such as Smithsonian Folkways artist Elizabeth Laprelle and acclaimed banjoist and fiddler Dan Gellert-and they perform all of the music in the film.