The Appalachian Soul Man goes west.
Aristotle Jones, the Morgantown musician, group activist and podcast host who can also be identified professionally by the above moniker, will carry out in Salt Lake Metropolis in November on the Nationwide Black Storytelling Competition and Convention.
This would be the 41st 12 months for the gathering, hosted yearly by the Nationwide Affiliation of Black Storytellers, which is headquartered in Baltimore.
Jones was just lately named to the group’s 2023 class of Black Appalachian Storyteller Fellows, becoming a member of 5 different inductees from Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Virginia for the dignity.
Go to www.NABSinc.org for full particulars on the affiliation and the convention.
In the meantime, Jones was chosen, partly, on the energy of his most up-to-date album, “Mountain Doo-Wop and the Streets of Osage,” an autobiographical assortment of songs about life within the former coal camp.
By means of no less than the Fifties, when the mines had been at full energy, Osage was a pocket of range in a spot not identified for it.
Employees and their households from Italy to Alabama journeyed right here to carve their buy of the American Dream in coal. Osage children grew up listening to smatterings of the 19 or so languages represented within the camp.
“That is thrilling,” mentioned Jones, who can also be the artistic director of WVRC Media in Morgantown.
Along with gigging together with his personal band, Jones additionally showcases regional musicians on his “Sounds Good to Me” podcast, which may heard at numerous shops throughout the Mountain State, through the West Virginia Radio Corp.
“It’s an honor that now I get to be a part of this group and this custom,” Jones mentioned of the invitation.
On the primary stage in Salt Lake Metropolis subsequent month, he’ll do the identical factor he does on the bandstand at venues throughout north-central West Virginia and surrounding area.
He’ll play his guitar and sing his songs about pigment and place: Songs about rural Blackness in America and Appalachia, drawing on numerous musical influences from jam bands to Mississippi John Harm.
That’s whereas merely introducing himself as an individual of coloration from West Virginia, he mentioned.
Such introductions, he mentioned, construct empathy and consciousness – which, in flip, can create entire communities.
“And I get to convey a bit bit Osage to Utah,” he mentioned. “Fairly cool.”