The Mountain Minor: An Appalachian Migration Story
Why The Mountain Minor?
The Appalachian region has sustained a rich and important music tradition full of ballads, fiddle and banjo breakdowns and later guitar, flatfoot dancing and sacred singing. This kitchen, field and front porch music formed the backbone of more modern forms of music such as Bluegrass, Rock and Roll and the Blues. This musical tradition was so strong and sacred because people relied on it every day in their work, recreation and worship. However, many people lack real exposure to Appalachian culture and history as well as an understanding of the daily life, joys and challenges experienced by the folks who kept this music alive.
This film is filling in the some of the gaps about the experience of Appalachians who have had such an important impact on American music. Based on the stories of director Farmer’s musical ancestors in eastern Kentucky and southwestern Ohio, this narrative film brings to life Appalachian music’s crucial role in unifying a family across generations. The music in this film is portrayed with integrity featuring performances by some of the most talented Old Time and Bluegrass musicians in the country, including Elizabeth LaPrelle, Dan Gellert, Trevor McKenzie, The Tillers and Asa Nelson.
The Mountain Minor:
- Tells a great story that brings Appalachian music and history to life
- Portrays Appalachian culture in a respectful and honoring way
- Presents authentic music by employing real musicians in acting roles
- Will be a springboard for meaningful conversations around Appalachian migration, culture and music
From Dale Farmer (Director/Writer):
“We’re part of a grassroots movement encouraging Appalachians, both in Appalachia and in the places their families migrated, to embrace their amazing heritage. We’re doing it though the music that has had a resurgence of popularity in recent years. Musicians and fans of traditional Appalachian music of all ages will experience the substance and special meaning of the music as it was passed down over the generations to today’s stages, porches and media devices. Our narrative feature film, The Mountain Minor, follows an old fiddle through five generations of the Abner Family from Eastern Kentucky in 1932 to a music stage in Cincinnati today. The journey of that old fiddle will give insights into the lives of many thousands of Appalachian families who either stayed or migrated to a land of many challenges to overcome. And, that they did!
Appalachians who migrated to urban centers for work in the 1930s-1960s became the heart of the working middle class. And they brought with them a most valuable resource: their music. Appalachians have long been misrepresented in film and popular culture; we hope our film will help shift this paradigm—revealing the great contributions Appalachians have made to society through their hard work and resourcefulness.
We’re sharing this powerful story of Appalachian culture and music roots in small theaters, schools and universities, and civic and non-profit venues across the country and eventually abroad. Moviegoers are leaving the theater asking themselves where they come from, and with a better appreciation of the soul of Appalachian music.
Please stay tuned and follow our progress as we forge ahead reaching homes, schools and organizations that share our mission and goal. Thank you for your support!”