SCOTT MILLER To Honor Appalachian Literature As Keynote Musician At Mountain Heritage Literary Fest
Critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Scott Miller has been chosen as the keynote musician for the sixth annual Mountain Heritage Literary Festival (MHLF) taking place June 24-26 at Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) in Harrogate, TN, just southeast of Cumberland Gap, a historic Appalachian passageway used by Native Americans and later widened by a team of loggers led by Daniel Boone.
Miller’s appearance at the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival marks a return engagement and a seasoned pairing with MHLF Founding Director Silas House (author of the novels Clay’s Quilt, A Parchment of Leaves, The Coal Tattoo, and Eli the Good) whereby Miller and House commence in a live on-the-fly collaborative effort with Scott swapping verses of songs mirrored by ancillary book excerpts read by Silas. It’s a literary form of ping-pong that electrifies those in attendance.
Much like the nom-de-rigueur one-of-a-kind collaborations on Awards’ shows, it’s these exalted pairings that have endeared Miller as a special invited guest on the literary festival circuit for the past six years. In addition to working multiple times with House, Miller has “swapped” with authors Lee Smith, Jill McCorkle, William Gay and Michael Knight, Head of University of Tennessee’s Creative Writing Program, at events such as the prestigious Southern Festival of Books, the annual Appalachian Writers Workshop at the Hindman Settlement School and at various literary confabs at renowned Square Books in Oxford, MS.
Raised on a cattle farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, Scott Miller has called Knoxville, TN his home since 1990. As one of the founders of the seminal roots rock band The V-Roys, he recorded three albums for Steve Earle and Jack Emerson’s label E-Squared Records before embarking on a successful solo career at Sugar Hill Records where he released four critically lauded albums from 2001-2008.
During the past fifteen years, Miller has received high praise for his well-crafted songs delivered with raw emotion and biting wit. Whether his compositions tell the tales of fictional characters or are colored with historical archeology, Knoxville’s Metropulse sums it up best when they surmised “His songs are full of rural imagery; his trademark is the mule. And he has a degree in Russian lit from William & Mary. He is not much like anybody else we know of.”
In 2009, Miller launched his own F.A.Y. Recordings with the release of his most recent full-length album For Crying Out Loud, and will soon issue his seventh as-yet-untitled studio album. The forthcoming collection features the song “Lo Siento, Spanishburg, West Virginia,” a tale of transformation in small town America, and a frequent staple of his recent performances.
In addition to showcasing Scott’s keynote session on Friday June 24th, the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival will celebrate the unique curricular environment that has nurtured writers such as James Still, Jesse Stewart, Don West and Emma Bell Miles.
Other notable festival participants include Kathryn Stripling Byer, former NC Poet Laureate and author of Wildwood Flower, Catching Light, and Coming to Rest, Dr. Grace Toney Edwards, Professor of Appalachian Studies and former Director of the Appalachian Regional Studies Center at Radford University and Jason Howard, co-author of Something’s Rising: Appalachians Fighting Mountaintop Removal and the editor of We All Live Downstream: Writings About Mountaintop Removal. For more information, please visit http://www.lmunet.edu/MHLF
June 24 – Mountain Heritage Literary Fest, Harrogate, TN
July 07 – Kingsport Twilight Series, Kingsport, TN
July 15 – McGonigels Mucky Duck, Houston, TX
July 16 – All Good Café, Dallas, TX
July 19 – Skippers Smokehouse (w/ Hayes Carll), Tampa, FL
July 20 – The Earl (w/ Hayes Carll), Atlanta, GA
July 22 – Brooklyn Arts Center (w/ Hayes Carll), Wilmington, NC
July 23 – Rock and Roll Hotel, Washington DC