Appalachian Black Metal, Modern Labor Struggles, And How W.Va. Is Making Skiing More Affordable


This week’s episode of Inside Appalachia features stories about a West Virginia black metal band that plays songs about local history. We’ll also hear how folks are helping make skiing, whitewater rafting, and rock climbing more accessible to people in West Virginia. And while labor struggles in Appalachia historically included coal miners, we’ll hear how other workers in other industries have attempted to unionize in the past year.

Making Skiing More Affordable

During the winter, a lot of people are getting out and skiing, but the sport has a high cost to entry. Lift tickets can cost upwards of $200 a day. But in West Virginia, there are grassroot efforts to make skiing and other outdoor sports more affordable. Part of that effort is headed up by Corey Lilly, the director of Outdoor Economic Development in the City of Beckley. Inside Appalachia co-host Caitlin Tan spoke with Lilly about bridging the economic gap in the outdoor sports world.

Black Metal In Appalachia

Appalachia is home to creators of all kinds, including heavy-metal musicians. In fact, there’s a movement of musicians across the region who play a strain of music known as black metal. An example is the band Nechochwen, from northern West Virginia. The band plays songs about local history and Native American heritage. Aaron Carey, who makes up half the band, spoke with Inside Appalachia co-host Mason Adams from his home in Wellsburg, West Virginia.

Fast Food And Steel Workers Attempt Unionization

There’s recently been a resurgence of labor activism across West Virginia. We often think of unions in the context of coal miners’ strikes, but workers in other industries are organizing too, as Ohio Valley ReSource reporter Katie Myers reports.


Helping Children Who’ve Experienced Trauma

No matter who you are or where you’re from, adversity is part of being human. A federal study found that more than 60 percent of people surveyed had what’s known as an adverse childhood experience. This could include violence, abuse, neglect, or an unstable living situation.

Research shows that trauma in childhood can lead to chronic mental and physical problems later in life. Even one event can cause problems. But what happens when children experience multiple traumas?

This week, we feature an excerpt from the Us & Them podcast, hosted by Trey Kay. He introduces us to a grandmother raising her granddaughter who experienced trauma at an early age. We’ll hear how the child is doing today, and the challenges her grandmother has faced in helping her grandchild heal.

Our theme music is by Matt Jackfert. Other music this week was provided by Nechochwen, Dog and Gun, Wes Swing, and Dinosaur Burps. Roxy Todd is our producer. Our interim executive producer is Eric Douglas. Kelley Libby is our editor. Our audio mixer is Patrick Stephens. Zander Aloi also helped produce this episode. Alex Runyan is our new Associate Producer.