With Appalatin, Appalachian moods meet Latin grooves


Mountain music finds a ready audience in Western North Carolina. But in the case of Appalatin, the mountains in question could be the Andes or the Appalachians - or many points between.

Appalatin's infectiously dance tunes spring from the band’s shared love of roots music.

The innovative six-member group has reimagined Appalachian music, creating a vibrant bi-continental Americana sound by infusing it with rhythms and instruments from Central and South America. Imagine “Shady Grove” with a Peruvian groove, or the the classic “La Linea” with down-home harmonica. If that sounds like a stretch, Appalatin pulls off such fusions organically, with panache, good spirits and great musicianship.

Listeners can hear the high-energy results for themselves at White Horse Black Mountain on Friday, Sept. 22.

Appalatin came together after an unexpected meeting in Louisville between Kentucky-raised musicians and émigrés from Ecuador, Nicaragua and Guatemala. Its acoustic lineup features guitar, mandolin, upright bass, charango, indigenous Andean flutes and an array of hand percussion. Vocally, its harmonies move as seamlessly between languages as their playing does between genres. Their infectiously dance tunes spring from the band’s shared love of roots music.

From its start playing for free coffee in 2006, Appalatin has attracted  considerable attention, moving from the coffee shop to prestigious venues, sharing stage at concert and festival stages with other roots-minded bands like The Black Lilies, Claire Lynch, Sam Bush and Ben Sollee. In 2014 the band was awarded the Americana Award by the Louisville Music Awards Academy, and were featured in the "Kentucky Muse" series, an Emmy-nominated PBS show about Kentucky musicians. Following up "Appalatin" (2011) and "Waterside" (2013), the band has put the finishing touches of its third album.

Andean flutes in flight

Who: Appalatin

When: 8 p.m. Sept. 22

Where: White Horse Black Mountain

Cost: $12 advance, $15 door