Appalachia Crows

Ravens & Crows

Crows & House Mountain Lexington VA
(Photo by Richard Moore-taken in the Lexington VA area)

A few weeks ago, Mike McClain told me I should check out a new group he recently heard-Dehlia Low. So I gave them a Google-and within 10 minutes I was Dehlia Low’s newest groupie.

The band has been together since 2007-it originated in Asheville NC and consists of:

  • Anya Hinkle-vocals/fiddle
  • Stacy Claude-vocals/guitar
  • Aaron Ballance-dobro
  • Bryan Clendenin-mandolin/vocals
  • Greg Stiglets-bass/vocals

 

Dehlia Low has a typical bluegrass/oldtime feel-with fantastic harmonies-and outstanding instrumental breaks in their music-but they bring a new feel along with the old. Maybe the newness happens naturally because the band performs mostly original songs.

As I browsed around their website I was intrigued by the band’s latest cd-Ravens & Crows. With The Week of the Crow looming closer-I got to talk with songwriter Anya Hinkle about the title cut from the cd-Ravens & Crows.

Anya told me she grew up in Blacksburg VA-playing fiddle and singing in church. Anya and her husband moved to Asheville NC for the energetic music scene the area offers. I was so impressed with Anya’s songwriting I assumed she’d been writing since she was a child-not so. Anya started writing songs soon after the band-Dehlia Low was formed. Once she told me that I was even more impressed. Check out the lyrics for Ravens and Crows:

Ravens and Crows(A. Hinkle)

When I went to show my color I carried a heavy load And when I cried to my mother She said it’s all ravens and crows Baby, it’s all just ravens and crows

When I saw that ringing hammer Well it did not shine like gold Whether it’s coal, rock or steel it doesn’t matter Cause it’s all ravens and crows Hey, hey it’s all just ravens and crows

Now the sands from the storms are uniting At the angle of repose Them boys put down their guns and quit fighting Cause it’s all ravens and crows Brother it’s all just ravens and crows

Well it’s a red, red wine in the pulpit Corn whiskey when I’m low Well it’s just water when I’m hard up lord And it’s all ravens and crows Darlin’ it’s all just ravens and crows

—————–

The more I listened to the song-the more meaningful it became to me. It could be because I’m raising 2 teenage daughters who are dramatic-or maybe it was because crows had been on my mind so often in recent weeks-but the more I heard the song-the more I found myself saying “Yep its all just ravens and crows.”

When I asked Anya to tell me how she wrote the song-I just knew she would tell me it was based on an old saying her Mother used. It turns out-the line “it’s all just ravens and crows” popped into Anya’s head as she drove between her job in Highlands NC and her home in Asheville. After she had the phrase-the rest of the lines were worked out until it all flowed into a song. Anya said she was often asked about the meaning of the song and she found it more interesting to find out what the song meant to the individual listener. Many folks-like me had assumed it meant something like “its just dust in the wind”.

I could gush about how much I enjoy Dehlia Low’s music all day-and believe me I have to anyone who’d listen in the last few weeks. The band was nice enough to donate a cd for me to giveaway during my Week of the Crow so one of you could get a chance to hear their tunes too. Interested in winning it?

Dehlia Low’s music speaks to me. I love that a Blind Pig reader cared enough to mention them to me. I love that their music makes my heart-head-and feet jump. I love that Anya Hinkle wrote a song about crows-and the band decided to make it the title cut of their latest cd. I love that its a small world-and my 2nd favorite Contra Dance Caller who lives right here in Brasstown happens to have been Anya Hinkle’s first playmate. I love that over the last few weeks Dehlia Low has been the soundtrack of my life as I drove to and fro during an especially exciting time for me and the Blind Pig.

Tipper

 

 

 

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31 Comments

  • Reply
    Judy
    October 6, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    The carved crows are beautiful. Enjoyed the music very much and checking out this group.

  • Reply
    Wanda in NoAla
    October 5, 2011 at 8:20 am

    I loved all the songs, but I think Tennessee is my favorite. Thanks for sharing this…love their music!

  • Reply
    Kimberly Burnette-Dean
    October 3, 2011 at 10:18 am

    “Over Yonder in the Graveyard” has to be my favorite tune. Very haunting. I have never heard of Dehlia Low, but I am going to have to buy some of their music!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 3, 2011 at 8:19 am

    Tipper, your right, they are a talented group.
    Those carved crows look so real, as if they are sitting there on the window sill!
    Nice crow picture at the top too.

  • Reply
    tea4too0
    October 3, 2011 at 6:23 am

    Great post Tipper. I liked Tennessee.

  • Reply
    brenda s 'okie in colorado'
    October 3, 2011 at 2:00 am

    I loved Over Yonder in the Graveyard, but I think my favorite is Wilkin’s County Wood.
    I love bluegrass music. Dehlia Low band is unique in that they kick in that Appalachian sound as well.
    Definitely checking out the crow carvings. A friend of mine gave me a crow carving last year and I would love to have more.
    Tipper, thank you for sharing with us.

  • Reply
    Glenda Beall
    October 3, 2011 at 12:01 am

    I love the instruments and the harmonies, but I really like the dobro and the voice of the girl playing the fiddle.
    Going Down and Wilkins County Wood are my favorites I think, but I also like the lyrics to Ravens and Crows. This is a group whose cd I would put in my car and play over and over.

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    October 2, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    Love the song and may have to put one of those carved crows on my wish list!

  • Reply
    Tom
    October 2, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    Tipper,
    Thanks for sharing the great music of Dehlia Low with us, they are a very talented group! I have listened to every song over and over, and they have me hooked! I agree with you, my favorite is definitely Wilkin’s County Wood.

  • Reply
    downthelanegirl
    October 2, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Hi ya TIpper. Loved the Wilken’s COunty Wood.

  • Reply
    SandyCarlson (USA)
    October 2, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    I will have to give them a try, too. Thanks for this great post.

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    October 2, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Oh,wow, Dehlia Lowe is amazing! Thanks for introducing me to them-it was hard to choose,but “Going Down” & “had enough of this mean ol’ town” really speaks to me this week.

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    October 2, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    tipper like you .. i liked the ravens and crows song… it fits the season doesent it… but i think my favorite is goin down … i like the harmony and the music..
    thanks for sharing with us.. and as always being the kindhearted and sweet lady you are 🙂 i truly feel blessed to have found your blog..
    sending big ladybug hugs
    lynn

  • Reply
    Lanny
    October 2, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Why is it eveytime I want to listen to something the two other people in this household and the dogs need to talk to me? I’ll come back later because the two seconds I did hear definitely drew me and I too really like the lyrics of “Ravens and Crows”.
    For now I’m goin’ go make some crock pickles.

  • Reply
    Gary Powell
    October 2, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Like them all, but I think Over Yonder in the Graveyard is my favorite.

  • Reply
    Mary Rutherford
    October 2, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Over Yonder in the Graveyard is my favorite. Her voice has that break in it that speaks to the longing you feel when you lose someone you love. We have all felt that ache.

  • Reply
    Rick Kratzke
    October 2, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    This sure does fit into your theme lately Tipper and I do like the lyrics a lot.

  • Reply
    Jen
    October 2, 2011 at 11:23 am

    I think Tennessee and Over Yonder in the Graveyard are my faves. Although Ravens and Crows keeps popping in my brain. Thanks for introducing them to me, Tipper!

  • Reply
    Ken
    October 2, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Tipper,
    That’s some gathering of the crows
    and a beautiful mountain touch.
    Probably my favorite song of Dehlia Low is Living is Easy, but
    all have their unique quality. I
    wish them well…Ken

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    October 2, 2011 at 10:52 am

    Tipper–The group is new to me, and they are really good. I’ll even manage to get past the fact that are centered in Asheville (to me, it has become San Francisco east, and you can interpret that any way you wish, but suffice it to say the Asheville of today is a far cry from that of Bascom Lamar Lunsford). Of the songs, I like “Over Yonder in the Graveyard” best. It has haunting lyrics, and their high, lonesome sound does them full justice. I was intrigued by the fact it also happens to be the lead song, courtesty of Chitter and Chatter, of late on your blog.
    Jim Casada
    http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com

  • Reply
    Bill Dotson
    October 2, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Tipper my favorite is Wilkin’s County Wood but they do a great job on all of them.

  • Reply
    Ed Mahaffey
    October 2, 2011 at 10:11 am

    I recently heard Anya Hinkle say that she told an interviewer “If our music sounds like it’s from around here, it’s ’cause it is”.
    Dehlia Low represents the best of a music that embraces its Appalachian heritage while sounding brand new. Reviewers regularly struggle to categorize their music. The tongue in cheek label on the Dehlia Low website is “Appalachiagrassicana”.

  • Reply
    Elizabeth K
    October 2, 2011 at 10:11 am

    My favorite is Tennessee. Love their rendition of Over Yonder in the Graveyard too, but Tennessee is the one. Great sound.
    Love those carvings of the crows!

  • Reply
    kat
    October 2, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Have enjoyed reading about ravens and crows this week. Those carvings are beautiful. He truly has a gift to do fine work. Just listened to Dehlia Low sing and liked the one about it’s just ravens and crows the best. They have great harmony.

  • Reply
    Ethel
    October 2, 2011 at 8:28 am

    Thanks Tipper, these young people are a joy to listen to! Does my heart good to know Bluegrass is marching on into the future with them. Their insturmentals are fabulous and Anya’s voice gives me the chills, it’s so expressive! I also watched their videos and they seem to get a lot of joy out of playing. If I had to pick just one favorite, I guess it’d be Going Down.
    The crow carvings are gorgeous, that gentleman has a real gift!

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    October 2, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Tipper,
    I liked Wilkin’s County Wood the best…’cause I’ve heard that expression come out of my carpenter Dad..”that d_____ old wood was outta square”…. I’ll declare I believe he could look at a wall and tell before hanging a plumb-bob if it was out of square!..
    Great post this morning…I really hate to see the Week of the Crows end…but then its all just ravens and crows…LOL..looking forward to the October posts and stories!
    Thanks Tipper for all your hard work…

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    October 2, 2011 at 8:23 am

    It is really hard to choose, but I think it is a toss up between Living Easy and Over Yonder in the Graveyard.
    The vocals are awesome in both.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    October 2, 2011 at 7:53 am

    My favorite vocal is Windy Mountain, but my favorite tune is Climbing Devil’s Pass. I am glad you are enjoying Dehlia Low, Tipper. They have a wonderful sound.

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    October 2, 2011 at 7:49 am

    Well the Crow carvings are really nice. Regarding Dehlia Low, I guess I would pick “Over Yonder in the Graveyard”. I love that type of vocal when she begins..actually the first song has a little of that as well.
    Either way they are great!

  • Reply
    Karen Larsen
    October 2, 2011 at 7:35 am

    I just gave a listen to Dehlia Low and I love the songs and the variety within them. I think I like “Living is Easy” the best.
    I love the expression, “it’s all ravens and crows”– I hope it’s not copyright infringement to use it, because I think I will! To me it means,” don’t worry, things change, let it go.”

  • Reply
    sandra
    October 2, 2011 at 6:23 am

    those are pretty awesome crows he carved. i will go to the site and listen when i boot up my desk top, this lap top sound is awful, i listened to a small part and their harmony is awesome.

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