Loyal Jones Appalachian Center

Saro Lynch-Thomason on the Blair Pathways Music Project and the Fight to Save Blair Mountain from MTR

Date(s) - 02/27/2013
11:45 am - 1:00 pm

Loyal Jones Appalachian Center

Additional Information

A LJAC Dinner on the Grounds

You’re invited to our next Dinner on the Grounds program at the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center!

Blair Pathways: The Musical History of the West Virginia Mine Wars and the Fight to Save Blair Mountain.


Blair Pathways is a multi-media project which uses music and narrative to tell the story of the West Virginia Mine Wars (1900-1921). The project is an effort to save Blair Mountain, the site of one of America’s most important labor uprisings which is currently under threat of mountaintop removal. Blair Pathways brings together the voices of Appalachia’s finest contemporary musicians, each song taking the listener step-by-step through the turbulent history of the mine wars. Combining speech, musical performance and slideshow imagery, this presentation is a vivid re-telling of the West Virginia Mine Wars, concluding with an exploration of the current plight of Blair Mountain, WV and the campaign to preserve its legacy. http://www.blairpathways.com


Saro Lynch-Thomason, producer of Blair Pathways, is an illustrator, award-winning ballad singer and amateur folklorist. She has been studying Appalachian ballads and traditional singing since 2008, performing alongside respected singers including Sheila Kay Adams and Elizabeth LaPrelle. Saro has been involved in the movement to end mountain-top removal since 2008, using community protest singing as the greatest part of her activism. She recently received a fellowship to study Kentucky ballads in the sound archives at Berea College.


The Appalachian people can be considered a collective ethnicity. We must remember our culture to preserve our land and people. As Carter G. Woodson said, “If a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.”

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