Celebrate W.Va. Day With These Mountain State Performers

Jun 20, 2018

On this day, 155 years ago, West Virginia was born and with it a rich history and culture that makes it its own kind of wild and wonderful. Today we want to take time to highlight a few musical talents who have called West Virginia home over the years.

Kathy Mattea has made a name for herself both as an artist and iconic West Virginian over the years. She's joined us on Mountain Stage lots of times and most recently as a special guest host this March. In August, during the Augusta Heritage Festival she will join us again, this time armed with new songs from her upcoming album. 

Our most reoccurring guest on Mountain Stage, Tim O’Brien, has made nearly 30 appearances on the show. This past February he joined us once again to celebrate the works of West Virginia native and fellow West Virginia Music Hall of Famer Little Jimmy Dickens.  Take a moment and check out this throwback to his 25th appearance back in 2009. 

Tim O'Brien & Friends perform a tribute to Little Jimmy Dickens on Mountain Stage
Credit BRIAN BLAUSER/ MOUNTAIN STAGE

In the years since Tyler Childers first appeared on Mountain Stage, his reputation and fan base has grown far beyond Appalachia. In 2018 alone, Tyler has opened for Margo Price, John Prine, and performed at the Grand Ole Opry. Earlier this month he performed at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee and has tour dates scheduled throughout North America and the U.K. through mid-December. 

Thanks to our friends at VuHaus you can revisit Childers' last visit to Mountain Stage here with his performance of "Purgatory." 

Mollie O’Brien, originally from Wheeling, has been a longtime friend of  Mountain Stage. This past February she appeared on the show with her family, including her husband, Rich Moore, and their two daughters Brigid and Lucy. You can listen to that show in its entirety over on our podcast now. 

Mollie O'Brien and Family perform on Mountain Stage
Credit BRIAN BLAUSER/ MOUNTAIN STAGE

Mira Costa of The Sea The Sea hails from Charleston, W.Va. Most recently the group released an album titled "We Are The Light" and appeared on Mountain Stage in April. Revisit their 2014 performance below.

The Sea The Sea perform on Mountain Stage
Credit BRIAN BLAUSER/ MOUNTAIN STAGE

Singer-songwriter  William Matheny calls Morgantown home. You can check out this performance of "Living Half To Death" from his 2016 appearance on Mountain Stage below. This April Matheny released "Moon Over Kenova" which offers a collection of songs including a handful recorded during his appearance. 

Another Morgantown-based set of talent, Hello June, has been no stranger to rapid growth. Earlier this year they were nominated by Mountain Stage to be a part of the NPR Slingshot artist initiative, which is a collective of artists from around the country whose talent's yearned to be recognized. The band is set to release a new single, “Mars”, on June 28th.  Be sure to keep an eye out for the new album coming in September.

Sarah Rudy of Hello June performing at FestivALT in Charleston, W. Va.
Credit Josh Saul

The Parachute Brigade, an acoustic Americana quintet based out of Beckley, W.Va., is on the rise. This July 15th they’ll be making their Mountain Stage debut. Have a listen to “The Gold EP” and then grab tickets to the show.

The Parachute Brigade will appear on Mountain Stage July 15th, 2018.
Credit Photo Provided by Artist

Of course, don't just stop there. We've got tastes of Christian Lopez, Dave Bing and Ben Townsend, Connie Smith, and Ona all waiting for you over at NPR Music. 

How are you celebrating #WV155? Send us a tweet or comment on Instagram and let us know your favorite part about #AlmostHeaven.