Carla’s music contains the best elements of traditional Appalachian Music, including purity, intensity, integrity, and vivid imagery.”

— Old Time Herald

Biography

There are lots of musicians out there claiming to be “authentic,” but Carla Gover is more than that: she’s the real thang. Born and raised in Eastern Kentucky, she was exposed to all the ingredients that go into making a true Appalachian musician of the first order. The Old-Time Herald says, “Carla’s music contains the best elements of traditional Appalachian Music, including purity, intensity, integrity, and vivid imagery.” She is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, with wins at the Kerrville Newfolk Festival, Merlefest’s Christ Austin Song Contest, and the Flatrock Festival Songwriting Contest. 

In addition to her performing career, she has over twenty years of experience as a teaching artist in Appalachian music and dance. Her ventures include educational performances, residencies and workshops, a variety of music and arts camps, and music festivals.

Carla performs solo on banjo and guitar, with a mix of original and traditional songs. She frequently adds some lively flatfoot dancing to the set, and gives audiences a sense that they have had a trip to the Appalachian Mountains. 

Carla also performs with the acclaimed trio Zoe Speaks, touring all over the country and performing at such venues as The Kennedy Center, Merlefest, Godfrey Daniels, and The Freight & Salvage. Acoustic Guitar Magazine calls her "one of the 30 essential artists of the next generation." Gover has recorded projects and performed with a bevy of accomplished musicians, including Dirk Powell (Cold Mountain, Van Lear Rose), the legendary Jean Ritchie, fiddler Stuart Duncan, renowned guitarist/banjoist Tony Furtado, mandolin player Mike Compton (O Brother Where Art Thou?) and many others.

Artist Statement

I believe that the things I feel in my heart and the life experiences I have had are a big part of what I am sharing when I perform.”

“I am passionate about this music I play, for so many reasons. I believe that the things I feel in my heart and the life experiences I have had are a big part of what I am sharing when I perform. I believe that music is as much about the emotions and ideas that lie behind it as it is about the notes being played. When I share my music, I am sharing my own spirit, but also the spirit of the place and people that I come from--The Appalachians. The following items are particular concerns of mine, and many of my programs address the following groups and issues. 

I seek to be a voice speaking of the beauty and dignity of Appalachian culture in a world filled with stereotypes, half-truths, and outright lies about what it means to be from the region. I seek to share a native’s perspective of the culture and traditions of the mountains, and instill pride within the region and understanding outside the region. 

In an era where everyone is talking about sustainability and stewardship, I seek to highlight the living mountain traditions that are rooted in those things, and to bring the best aspects of our self-reliant past into the future. In addition, I seek to raise awareness of the environmental outrages which are occurring in the mountains today, that a positive change might come from within and without the region. 

I seek to be an example of an artist who is living her dreams, and to inspire young people to pursue their talents and work for positive change in the world. As a mother of three who has made a career in the arts, I also seek to be an example to women who are artists and mothers.”