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I have been a self-employed artist my entire life. That means I’ve been making a living from various aspects of my creative interests since I was 22 years old, and I’ve done things like dancing professionally in a touring ensemble, doing thousands of residencies in music, dance, and Appalachian culture, hitting the road with several […]

Embracing Your Creative Seasons

old coal mine photo

Do you want to have a conversation about Appalachia? If so, I’m going to ask that we make sure to include acknowledgement of the centuries of systemic economic exploitation that have shaped our region. While my art often touches on the wondrous and wonderful parts of being from here, there are other things we need […]

A Conversation About Appalachia

basket of apples with fall leaves

I’m not ready, but it’s happening. I’m starting to get emails hawking sweaters and fall outfits. I’m seeing back-to-school items for sale. Any day now, the pumpkin spice onslaught will begin. And I’m not ready! In the world of marketing, everything is always several weeks ahead of where we actually are in real life. But […]

Living By The Seasons

I grew up making sorghum each fall on Kingdom Come Creek in Letcher County, at an event called a stir-off. I honestly loved the stir-off time more than Christmas! We kids would get to ride the sled out to the field (pulled by the big Belgian mare) and watch the men cut the cane with […]

A Sweet Kentucky Tradition

Anybody who knows me knows that I practically worshiped my grandmother. She was born in 1898 in a tiny holler outside Oneida, Kentucky, and she was pretty much a walking encyclopedia of How To Do Stuff. I followed her around like a baby chick, constantly begged her for stories about her life, and eagerly copied […]

Hoe cakes, bee songs, and play pretties…

After reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic, I was inspired to write this letter to fear. I wrote it at a moment in my life where I was on the cusp of being brave enough to finally REALLY embrace the life I wanted to live, after decades of gearing up for it and taking baby […]

Dear Fear: A Letter

This is my Big Mommy. Her name was Emma Wilson Hensley and she was from Oneida, KY. (Her name was pronounced “Emmer”, for those of you who didn’t grow up speaking mountain!) She was my Granny’s second cousin and one of her closest friends. She was my second grandmother. Like my grandmother, most of her […]

Big Mommy: Mountain Matriarch

“A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay.”  This is a suburban tree, in a suburban yard, in the suburban neighborhood where my Appalachian family moved after my dad lost his job with the coal company. This is my sweet little granny, who never stopped working her mountain magic even after […]

Granny & the Bees

So, my mother didn’t know anything about making albums per se, but something she DID teach me helped me get through a recent challenge we encountered while making the latest Zoe Speaks CD. See, we found out a few weeks ago that there had been a hard drive crash involving our project, and that data […]

What My Mom Taught Me About Making a CD

• Enjoy 5 free original songs, banjo tunes, and mountain ballads from the hills of East Kentucky

• Learn the basics of mountain percussive dance in my free instructional video “3 Essential Steps for Appalachian Flatfooting & Clogging”

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© 2021 Carla Gover

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Carla is currently based in Lexington, KY, ancestral lands of the Adena, Hopewell, S’atsoyaha (Yuchi), Shawandasse Tula (Shawanwaki/Shawnee), ᏣᎳᎫᏪᏘᏱ Tsalaguwetiyi (Cherokee, East), and Wazhazhe Maⁿzhaⁿ (Osage) nations.

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