Bill Lynch, Mason Adams, Kelley Libby, Zander Aloi, Capri Cafaro, Zack Harold Published

The Rock Band Wednesday, Quilting And The Moonshine Messiah, Inside Appalachia

Four people stand in front of an orange dumpster.
Rising rock band Wednesday discusses long-term plans and life on the road.
Photo by Zachary Chick, courtesy of Wednesday

This week, Karly Hartzman of Asheville indie rock band Wednesday, talks about songwriting, place and spending a lot of time with a band on tour. 

We also meet Emily Jones Hudson, who started a workshop to try and reinvigorate quilting in her community in Kentucky. 

Also, we check in with the Alabama Astronaut and learn about a uniquely Appalachian form of art – religious music heard only in snake-handling churches. 

In This Episode:

Wednesday Talks Yesterday And Today

The rock band Wednesday is based in Asheville, North Carolina. The band made big waves when its record, “Rat Saw God” came out in April 2023. The music site Pitchfork gave it 8.8 out of 10 and named it Best New Music.

Before Wednesday set out on a big European tour, Mason Adams caught up with singer/songwriter Karly Hartzman.

Stitching Back A Tradition Of Quilting

Four women hold up a large quilt, smiling.
(L-R) Sandra Jones, Emily Jones Hudson, Rebecca Cornett and Katie Glover with the quilt they made together during the first Stories Behind the Quilt workshop series.

Credit: Capri Cafaro/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Quilts in Appalachia are often handed down from generation to generation and while some traditional arts have faded, people have never really stopped quilting. But the tradition can be patchy in some areas. Emily Jones Hudson noticed fewer quilters in her hometown of Hazard, Kentucky, especially among African Americans. So, she created a quilting workshop series to encourage people to revitalize an art and recapture some history. 

Folkways Reporter Capri Cafaro brings us the story. 

See more at the Southeast Kentucky African American Museum and Culture Center.

Making The Moonshine Messiah

“The Moonshine Messiah” is the first novel of West Virginia native Russell W. Johnson.


November is National Novel Writing Month. All over the country, aspiring novelists have been writing their hearts out in hopes of penning the next best seller.

But the hard part to getting a novel into a reader’s hands might not be the writing. Author Russell Johnson makes his home in North Carolina, but his debut novel, “Moonshine Messiah,” is set in the West Virginia coal fields, where his parents are from. 

Bill Lynch spoke with Johnson about writing and the long road to getting published. 

All About The Alabama Astronaut

Musician, singer-songwriter, painter, podcaster and former preacher Abe Partridge.

Courtesy Photo

Usually, when you hear about snake-handling, it’s in an exploitative way, but the folks who handle snakes are more like people you might know. They also play a style of Appalachian music that’s largely gone undocumented. That music is the subject of a podcast released in 2022 called Alabama Astronaut.

Folkways Reporter Zack Harold spoke with co-host Abe Partridge about how a project intended to document this music ended up being about a whole lot more.


Our theme music is by Matt Jackfert. Other music this week was provided by Wednesday, John Blissard, Little David and Christian Lopez. 

Bill Lynch is our producer. Zander Aloi is our associate producer. Our executive producer is Eric Douglas. Kelley Libby is our editor. Our audio mixer is Patrick Stephens.

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Inside Appalachia is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting.