Sunday, March 29, 2015

Marvin (Popcorn) Sutton - Moonshine Mountain Man

Marvin (Popcorn) Sutton - M. Reach

The other day I heard that the Appalachian mountains on the East Coast of North America were once joined all together with Scotland, before the ocean separated the continents. This truly is the history of Appalachia  with ancestors from the British Isles.

I've always been very drawn to Appalachia, the music, the people, and their connection with the land. Living along part of Appalachia trail, here in Nova Scotia it feels close to my heart and soul. It's a big part of my own family history.

The story of Appalachia is rich, tragic and beautiful. Alan Lomax did a documentary called Appalachian Journey , an amazing historical video made in 1991, that I just finished viewing. It's about an hour of watching but if you want to see something that certainly gives an in depth history of Appalachia, it is well worth watching.

There are many contemporary correlations in the way the land today in North America is being stripped for fossil fuel with fracking and oil, and the way North Carolina was stripped for coal and gold, leaving the land decimated and it's people in poverty.

I was especially captured by the linguistics of the people, the music and how folk in the mountains where basically forced into moon-shining to survive because of the dire poverty and the way corn was harvested.

A few years back I happened upon a You-tube video that musician Seasick Steve did about a mountain man by the name of Marvin (Popcorn) Sutton. It was really something. Here's short film done by photographer and film maker Andy Armstrong.

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