A Few More Miles/ Diamond Joe: http://smarturl.it/bensolleeDMM
Take our hands, go with us. To Wilson Creek, a small hollow in Floyd County, Kentucky, where the high rocks bake in the heat of a summer day, where birdsong trills down the ridge through beeches and laurel hells, where an old couple tends their garden in the cool of the day—where it was all nearly destroyed seven years ago by mountaintop removal mining.
Back then, the loss of Wilson Creek to greed and energy demands looked inevitable. Mining permits were filed, contracts were signed, heavy equipment was moved in. But some in the community refused to give up on saving their homeplace. They met in an old community center to organize. They spoke at hearings, they lobbied their elected officials, they filed petitions, and they told their stories—of how the land had been in their families for generations, of how they cherished all the living things on the mountain, of how they feared overloaded coal trucks on their one-lane road and the contamination of their creek. And the coal company backed down.
The victory on Wilson Creek proved that community is essential. It’s a lesson that Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore shared with all of us in 2010 when they released Dear Companion, the critically acclaimed album that fused story with topography, raising awareness about all the Wilson Creeks throughout Appalachia being threatened by this most destructive form of mining. Now Ben and Daniel have returned to those musical high rocks with A Few More Miles, another tender elegy on behalf of a landscape and culture that remains under grave threat.
Mountains are still disappearing. Water keeps being contaminated. Cancer rates remain at an all- time high. Mining jobs continue to be lost to mechanization. And people are still fighting back.
Like the people on Wilson Creek, they are telling their stories. And even though they’re up against billionaire corporations, they have two things in their favor: words and music. There’s power in art and community, and that’s what Ben and Daniel have given us with these two songs. We’ve got just a few more miles to go, and we’ll go singing.
—Jason Howard and Silas House, authors of Something’s Rising