Madison Magazine April-May 2019 - Page 5

They reference the work of pro- gressive artists and thinkers who are deeply imbedded in Appala- chian culture. Writers Wendell Berry, Thomas Merton and Silas House have given voice to this strain. Carla believes their words are a result of being steeped in this place. “Our connection to the land, to extended family, to this place, gives rise to a deep moral think- ing,” she said. That is not the stereotypical regional identity often portrayed in the national news. Their hope is to inspire a different narrative. “We want to help people in Kentucky create their own definition of what it means to be Kentuckians,” Carla added. TRAnSfORMATIVE POwER Of MuSIC When Mitch was a child, he and his mother were often called on to sing at funerals. He remembers telling his granny he didn’t like to do it because it made people cry. She explained it was part of their culture and an important way to help people grieve. “It was my introduction to mu- sic as therapy,” Mitch said. It is a theme that has recurred in the music of Zoe Speaks, partly stemming from their own experiences. The group had a nine-year hiatus after the di- vorce of Mitch and Carla and reformed in 2015. “It was hard because we had such a public divorce,” said Carla, “but after playing together for some reunion concerts, we decided there was more music to be made.” Their newly released album, “Wings,” is the first since they banded together again and is about transformation. “We wanted to share our story, and reassure others that it is OK if life doesn’t look as they thought it would,” Carla said. Carla Gover, Zoey Barrett, Arlo Barnette, and Mitch Barrett talk about mu- sic and family over drinks at Purdy’s in Richmond. The song “Wings of a Dove” has some powerful lyrics for the band’s new reality. “Funny all the time that I’ve spent thinking I was somehow broken, funny ‘bout this cage I’ve been in, all this time the door was open.” PLAYInG AROunD This modern incarnation of the band includes Carla, Mitch, long-time bassist Owen Reyn- olds, Zoey and her fiancée Arlo Barnette. A talented musician in his own right, Arlo grew up listening to Zoe Speaks. When he and Zoey fell in love and he joined the group, he had a leg up by already knowing many of their songs. While Maisie is not currently part of Zoe Speaks, her family includes her in the musi- cal tradition. “She is an amazing songwrit- er,” said Mitch. Zoe Speaks plays shows at mu- sic clubs, performing arts cen- ters, festivals and schools. They are collaborating with Kentucky band Appalatin on Cornbread and Tortillas, a show that cel- ebrates the diversity of cultures that comprise Appalachia. Their songwriting is another impor- tant piece of their work, ap- pearing on television and movie soundtracks. While this family band is in some ways non-traditional, their family roots and musical tradi- tions run deep. Their strong musical harmonies serve as a metaphor for their relational harmony. “Touring with my parents just feels natural since I did it my whole childhood,” Zoey shared. “It is a great excuse to go on road trips with them.” ...because everyone deserves a great life! Celebrating Our 15th Year of Business ! R ICHMOND , KY KYTRUCKANDTRAILER,COM I-75  Exit 95 Phone: (859) 623-0444 Fax: (859) 623-8974 Call or come by today for a tour & learn what life is like at Arcadian Cove! 859-624-0022 www.meridiansenior.com/arcadiancove 532 Cady Drive, 40475 A P R I L- M AY 2 0 1 9 Madison Magazine 5