Kentucky Songstress, Dancer, & Inspiring Educator.

Carla Gover is a seventh-generation Kentuckian who hails from a small coal town in Eastern Kentucky, and her rural sensibilities permeate the work that she does and the music that she plays. The Old-Time Herald says, “Carla’s music contains the best elements of traditional Appalachian Music, including purity, intensity, integrity, and vivid imagery.” An award-winning singer-songwriter, she performs regularly with the folk trio Zoe Speaks and is active in community building, multi-disciplinary arts projects throughout Kentucky.

New CD Coming Soon! 

I'm so excited to be putting the finishing touches on the NEW album with my band, Zoe Speaks! We have been hard at work in the studio and are very much looking forward to sharing our music with the world in a whole new way! Stay tuned and check back here for updates, or join my MAILING LIST to have the news delivered to you!


Do you ever have so much going on that you don't know whether you're coming or going? That's what the last few months have been like for me, but I have loved it all because I have seen firsthand that no matter how much craziness might be going on in the world, there are still SO MANY goodhearted people who want to come together and sing, dance, love, learn, and stand up for all that is right and beautiful in this world. I will just let the pictures here speak for themselves about all of the wonderful projects I've been lucky to participate in!

Dreams Come True! 

Mark your calendars for August 12, when we will be joining together with other artists, community groups, and the Americana World Community Center to create the 2nd-ever Cornbread & Tortillas Cultural Festival! Thanks to your generous support and matching contributions from the Louisville-based Fund For The Arts, we have raised over $6000 to create a totally FREE festival where all Kentucky residents can feel welcomed and celebrated! More details coming soon!

Singing my new Snowflake song at Women's March on Washington: Lexington! 

There was so much love in the crowd yesterday--the experience of playing for the Women's March will definitely always have a special place in my memory. It was such an honor to stand with so many determined brothers and sisters. If you weren't able to attend a march, and you're worried about our nation, take heart. We have a LOT of work to do, but the conviction (and numbers!) of the marchers gave me such hope. We can work together to make a better world, my friends, as we learn how to be effective in Frankfort, Washington, our local school boards, and beyond. And I'm happy to say you can now purchase my new song here on this website on the music tab!

Help us grow our festival! 

We are SO HONORED to have been selected to participate in the Louisville Fund For The Arts ArtsMatch grant program. From now until February 28 they will match DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR your totally tax-deductible donation to our project, which will culminate with a FREE FESTIVAL August 12th in Louisville, Kentucky.
Please consider putting your dollars toward UNITY and DIVERSITY at the donation page HERE:

Cornbread & Tortillas wins a smARTY award! 

I want to thank and congratulate all the wonderful artists who came together, including the amazing Casa de la cultura hispana and Appalatin, to help create the first Cornbread & Tortillas event, for which we recently received this award from the Kentucky Arts Council for "using arts of all disciplines to explore the intersections between Latin American and Appalachian cultures and promoting cultural understanding." ¡Bien hecho! Coming soon to Louisville, KY!

Ongoing Work with "Cornbread & Tortillas" 

Cornbread & Tortillas, an artistic and cultural collaboration between songwriter/dancer Carla Gover, fusion band Appalatin, and other theater artists and dancers continues after a successful inaugural event in Lexington, KY this past August, presented in conjunction with Casa de la cultura hispana.

Cornbread & Tortillas is a storied journey of music and dance which explores the common ground between Appalachia and various Latin American cultures. In this multi-disciplinary theatrical performance, a small group of musicians, dancers, and storytellers from throughout the Americas come together to share their songs and stories of family, identity, work, play, love, heritage, sense of place, and spirit. This rich production features a diverse variety of instruments including banjo, fiddle, mandolin, Andean flutes, charango, congas, cajon, and more, as well as mountain-style flatfooting and percussive dance from Latin America. The idea that "We've all got a place at the table" is a primary theme for the piece, which seeks to emphasize through the metaphorical concept of a shared meal the idea that there is room for everyone to live together.

The following is an assortment of photos from the project as well as a sample of one of Appalatin's songs marrying Appalachian and Andean music. Look for more details coming soon!

Video by Appalatin:

Appalatin's Website!

Cornbread & Tortillas Cultural Celebration! 

I am so excited to announce the first of many events in the "Cornbread & Tortillas" project I have been working on with celebrated fusion band Appalatin, Casa de la cultura hispana, and many other amazing artists! It will be held on Saturday, August 13th, and will take place at a series of venues on the Southland Drive Corridor in Lexington, KY!
All daytime events are free, and admission to the evening show is only $5.
The event is family-friendly, and will feature music, crafts, dancing, food, stories, and more. Trump wants to build a wall but we want to build bridges! Come and join us for the celebration and for our very first concert together at Willie's Locally Known, where we will present our brand-new work-in-progress.


Workshopes/Talleres (held in front of Southland Perk Coffeehouse and Good Foods Co-op)
1:00 Bilingual sing-along/canciones bilingües
2:00 How to make/ Como hacer Cornbread & Tortillas
2:30 Old-Time Jam Session/sesión improvisada
2:45 Hammock-Making/Taller de hamacas
3:30 Appalachian Clogging/ Baile folklórico
4:00 How to make/Como hacer Cornbread & Tortillas
4:30 Andean Instruments/Instrumentos andinos
5:00 Drumming/tambores
5:30 Storytelling/Cuentacuentos
6:00 Herbs for Health/Yerbas para la salud
7:00 PM Concert with Zoe Speaks, Appalatin, and el grupo Baile folclórico de la casa de la cultura hispana

Southland Perk is located at 472 Southland Drive and Good Foods Co-op at 455 Southland Drive, Lexington, KY

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Previous events


Arts Day in Frankfort w/Yani Vozos


This is an event hosted by the KAC in Frankfort---details coming soon!

Cornbread & Tortillas Keynote Presentation

Dumplins & Dancin', 56 Education Lane, Hindman, KY 41822

This will be an AMAZING WEEKEND of food, dance, and community in a very special spot near where Carla grew up. Yani, Paulina, and Carla will share more about what C&T is doing, and perform excerpts from the show. To register, visit:


Cornbread & Tortillas Festival

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Americana World Community Center, 4801 Southside Drive, Louisville, KY 40214

A celebration of Kentucky and Latino Cultures! Una celebración de culturas latinas y kentuckianas. Visit this festival for crafts, workshops, dancing, food, music, jamming, and fun for the whole family, followed by the debut performance of the new work featuring Appalatin, Zoe Speaks, and more at 7 PM! Everything is FREE! Visita el festival para artesanías, talleres, baile, comida, música, y un concierto a las 7. ¡Todo es GRATIS!


Cowan Creek Mountain Music School

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Cowan Community Center, 81 Sturgill Branch, Whitesburg, KY 41858

This amazing week of learning in my hometown is a must-attend for lovers of old-time Kentucky music. I'll teach singing and songwriting, and there are also classes inbanjo, fiddle, guitar, bass, singing, old time string band, and storytelling! For more information, visit:


Appalachian Family Folk Week

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Hindman Settlement School, 56 Education Lane, Hindman, KY 41822

I am so excited about this family-friendly getaway! I'll be teaching old-time flatfooting and, for the first time ever, "Granny Life Skills 101", where we'll quilt, can, sing, and learn how to take care of ourselves the Appalachian way! A whole heap of awesome classes are offered--check it out:

In These Fields: A Folk Opera by Silas House & Sam Gleaves

Capitol Arts Center, 416 East Main Ave, Bowling Green, KY 42101

In These Fields is a folk opera by singer/songwriter Sam Gleaves and novelist/playwright Silas House. The play, which explores the importance of food in our history and culture, covers 175 years in the American South. The monologues, written by House, and songs, penned by Gleaves, create a meditation on the people who have raised, prepared, and partaken of the food of the South.


Songs of Freedom & Justice with Zoe Speaks and friends

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Living Arts & Sciences Center, 362 N Martin Luther King Blvd, Lexington, KY 40508

Throughout the course of our history as a nation and world, music has always accompanied and spurred social change. During this unprecedented time in our country’s evolution, come and find solidarity through music as we sing songs to keep us inspired, engaged, unified, and hopeful. All are welcome and lyrics will be provided. Raise your voice and rise up as we kick off this Gallery Hop and Arts Showcase Weekend in downtown Lexington!

Carla Gover & A Boy Named Banjo

The Burl, 375 Thompson Road, Lexington, KY 40508

I know we Kentuckians have our differences with Tennessee, but let's lay aside the blue and the orange and find our common ground. Join me for an evening of banjos, bourbon, a passel of pickers from the land of Rocky Top, and a whole lot of yee-ha! Ain't we got fun?

Women's March on Washington: Lexington

Fayette Circuit Courthouse, 120 N. Limestone, Lexington, KY 40507

I am excited to be opening our march in support of social justice and equal rights for all with some music. The list of speakers is stunning, with Attica Scott, George Ella Lyon, Reggie Thomas, Silas House, Kelly Flood, and many more. Come rise up with us!