June Appal Recordings presents WHITESBURG KY, the third solo album by Brett Ratliff. WHITESBURG KY showcases Ratliff's trademark innovations in the Kentucky repertoire, presenting songs like the rarely performed "Harlan County Farewell," a surprising mash-up of "Cacklin’ Hen" and "Morphine," and the title track, "Whitesburg," alongside Ratliff's own, "Glory Up Above." The collection, named for an important arts town in East Kentucky, pays homage to Ratliff’s teachers and influences, including George Gibson, Sarah Ogan Gunning, Si Kahn, and Mike Seeger. Haunting archives of neighborly gatherings are spliced in among the driving performances, remembering times once casually shared. Recorded during the 2020-21 quarantine, WHITESBURG KY explores that old lonesome sound, while asking new questions about how we heal each other through community.
Founded in 1974, Appalshop’s non-profit record label, June Appal Recordings, has distributed mountain music over a period of time in which the very definition of what it means to be “mountain music” has innovated and evolved. Our catalog represents the breadth of Appalachian music, from old-time traditional to bluegrass and Americana. With almost 100 records released on June Appal Recordings, a wide variety of albums are available in digital, CD, cassette tape, and LP formats.