FOLKLIFE is Ras Alan's 4th commercial 'Appalachian Reggae' release, and was recorded live during the 37th annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival, presented June 25 to July 6, 2003 in Washington, DC, as part of the 'Year of Appalachia' celebrations. Ras Alan performs his original music on resonator and flat top guitars, dB, his famous drink-box he stomps for a drum beat, and his custom 'Screamin' Elf' ashiko drum. Joining Ras Alan on harmony vocals and bass guitar is longtime friend and talented musician Robert 'Brother Bob' Franklin. This CD showcases Ras Alan's Applachian reggae in an acoustic, intimate format, where the songs live and breath and the interplay of the few instruments sets up a solid, rootical foundation for the stories and characters to come to life. The interaction and response of the audience is also well documented on this superb live recording. The APPALACHIA: HERITAGE & HARMONY program was produced in collaboration with the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance and the Center for Appalachian Studies at East Tennessee State University. "We're more alike than different!" What do country music and Ras Alan's Appalachian reggae have in common? Both were featured on Country Music Television's October, 2005 Small Town Secrets, when it showed "Guitars," a piece about Bristol, TN/VA's musical past and present, including roots like the Carter Family's original country music, and branches like Ras Alan's own genre, Appalachian Reggae. Ras Alan provided audiences with musical and historical insights on the CMT show, and was featured on CMT's website performing "Appalachian Man" beside the railroad tracks in Bristol. Ras Alan sang original lyrics about Southern Appalachian mountain living while playing an acoustic resonator guitar and thumping on dB, a wooden drink box that plays bass beneath Ras Alan's boot. Ras Alan's CMT performance and interview took place during Bristol's, Rhythm and Roots Reunion, where Ras Alan and The Lions performed a lively electric set. Ras Alan appeared in Blue Ridge Country Magazine in August, 2005, photographed on the Pickin' Porch at the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance for a Bristol radio show. Ras Alan was a featured performer at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, for the "Year of Appalachia" in 2003, recording 10 shows on the National Mall in Washington DC. Select songs are included on this spirited live release. Ras Alan performed in the 2004 "Smithsonian to the Mountains" tour and was greatly honored to appear at the Carter Fold in Hiltons, Virginia, where A.P. and Sara Carter's daughter, Janette, kept Southern Appalachian music traditions alive. Ras Alan's three existing albums are housed in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Archives and in East Tennessee State University's Archives of Appalachia. These albums are "Letter from Appalachia" (2002), "Stone Inna Hurricane" (1997), and "Native" (1993). "Letter from Appalachia" was considered for Grammy® Awards in both the reggae and contemporary folk categories. Ras Alan has picked and performed with music greats from many genres. He picked with Doc Watson and played African melodies with Malian master musician, Ali Farke Toure. He jammed with Yonder Mountain String Band; traded mandolin duet licks with Jethro Burns; and drummed with Nigerian Babetunde Olatunji. Ras Alan, a member and performer for Reggae Ambassadors Worldwide, shared the stage with Burning Spear and The Wailers. Ras Alan performs at numerous family-friendly festivals, events and celebrations throughout the US and Jamaica, and continues to be heard on radio and internet stations worldwide. Ras Alan's blend of traditional mountain music, original lyrics, and reggae beat is a unique combination. His songs are fun, emotional, and socially responsible. Influenced by bluegrass, old time, Southern gospel, jazz, African drumming, and a respectful portion of Rastafari spirituality, Ras Alan's music is full of life, and the reggae beat is extremely danceable. Establishing the term "Reggabilly" in 1991, Ras Alan's songs are true stories inspired locally and applicable worldwide, rooted in Southern Appalachian tradition and consciously moving forward. Bob Marley biographer and Reggae Grammy® chair, Roger Steffens writes, "Reggabilly at it's best!" Ras Alan's other CDs NATIVE and LETTER FROM APPALACHIA are also available on cdBABY.COM. Beginning with his first 'touring' show as a guitarist and singer at a rural Baptist church in 1975, RAS ALAN has shared stages, festivals and performances in Jamaica and the US with The Wailers, Burning Spear, Ralph Stanley, Ziggy Marley and The Melody Makers, David Grisman, Ali Farke Toure, John Prine, Black Uhuru, Dougie McClean, Acoustic Syndicate, The Meditations, Salif Keita, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Sam Bush, Babetunde Olatunje, Laura Love, Austin Lounge Lizards, Awareness Art Ensemble, Peter Rowan, the North Mississippi All Stars, Reeltime Travelers, Mali Ensemble Instrumental, Snake Oil Medicine Show, Lucky Dube, Larry and Jenny Keel, Junior Brown, Sista Carol, Carl Densen's Tiny Universe, Leftover Salmon, Jean Ritchie and Hazel Dickens, AVAS, Derek Trucks, the Itals, Gretchen Wilson, Southern Culture on the Skids, Old Crow Medicine Show, Yonder Mountain String Band and many, many others. Ras Alan is available for performances, workshops, children's entertainment, recordings, and interviews. Currently booking through Red Pepper Records, please contact us at: Appalachianreggae.com PO Box 33 Greeneville, TN 37744 USA 800-MTN-VIBE.