There are lots of musicians out there claiming to be authentic, but Carla Gover is more than that: she’s the real “thang.” Born and raised in eastern Kentucky, she was exposed to all the ingredients that go into making a true Appalachian musician of the first order. The Old-Time Herald says, “Carla’s music contains the best elements of traditional Appalachian music, including purity, intensity, integrity and vivid imagery.” She is also an award-winning singer-songwriter, with wins at the Kerrville Newfolk Festival, Merlefest’s Christ Austin Song Contest and the Flatrock Festival Songwriting Contest.
Carla released her solo CD Gypsy Ways in 2010, and is currently at work writing songs for her next one, exploring archetypal themes in Appalachia through original music written in a traditional style. She provides educational performances, residencies and workshops within Kentucky and tours selectively in the state and the south-central United States. She also teaches at a variety of music and arts camps, performs for churches and civic groups and rounds out her schedule with music festivals.
Carla performs solo on banjo and guitar and brings in some of Kentucky’s best acoustic musicians when the event calls for a bigger sound. She frequently adds lively flatfoot dancing to the set and gives audiences a sense that they have journeyed to the Appalachian Mountains.
Carla performed for 10 years with the duo Zoe Speaks, touring all over the country and performing at such venues as The Kennedy Center, Merlefest, Godfrey Daniels and The Freight & Salvage. Acoustic Guitar Magazine calls her "one of the 30 essential artists of the next generation." Gover has recorded projects and performed with a bevy of accomplished musicians, including Dirk Powell (Cold Mountain, Van Lear Rose), the legendary Jean Ritchie, fiddler Stuart Duncan, renowned guitarist Tony Furtado, mandolin player Mike Compton (O Brother Where Art Thou?) and many others.
About her performances Carla says, "I am passionate about this music I play for so many reasons. I believe that the things I feel in my heart and the life experiences I have had are a big part of what I am sharing when I perform. I believe that music is as much about the emotions and ideas that lie behind it as it is about the notes being played. When I share my music, I am sharing my own spirit, but also the spirit of the place and people that I come from—the Appalachians."