June 2019 TAR Fifth Annual Summer Tour :)

with kelsie cannon, ezra mars, sophia rehak + hannah bell, kevin chesser & best.virginia

click any of the DATES for the facebook event page for additional info & details

  • June 19 – Wheeling, WV + Clientele Arts Studio 7pm
    • with Alec Berry, Billy Matheny, Gabby Marshall, Logan Schmitt, Natalie Kovacs & Luke Novel
  • June 20 – Morgantown, WV + 123 Pleasant Street (WEST VIRGINIA DAY!!)*% 7pm
    • with Ann Pancake, Megan Mullinax Haas, Billy Matheny, Tyler Grady, Geoff Minnear, Corpse Factory, Emily Prentice, The Bench, Keegan Lester & Miki
  • June 21 – Hillsboro, WV + Yew Mountain Center* 6pm
    • with Stephanie Jones, Tyler Grady, Jacob H. Logan, Kristen Rehak
  • June 22 – Blacksburg, VA + SOLITUDE* 5:30pm
    • with Tyler Grady & Joe Shay
  • June 23 – Matewan, WV + West Virginia Mine Wars Museum* 7pm
    • with Catherine Venable Moore & Brandy Jeffreys
  • June 24 – Charleston, WV + FestivALL Presents @ Taylor Books* 4:30pm
    • with Mesha Maren, Matt O’Wain & Josie Martin
  • Howard & Kevin go to the Governor’s Academy in Huntington ❤
  • June 26 – Beckley, WV + BEX Presents @ The Raleigh Playhouse*^% 7pm
  • June 27 – Lexington, KY + The Green Lantern*^ 8pm
    • with BRALETTE, Misty Skaggs, Darrin Hacquard, Jason Brown, Juniper Moon Folk Arts & Little Bubby Child
  • June 28 – Athens, OH + LittleHouse Manor^ (message us for the addy) 6pm
    • with Lisa Bella Donna & Dani Mailap
  • June 29 – Buckhannon, WV + Dough Re Mi 7pm
    • with Nicole Scott, Tyler Grady, Emily Prentice, Monica Leigh, Daniel Cain & Doug Van Gundy

* with collagist Ashley Renee Hoffman

^ with letterpress printer Sarah Brown/Questionable Press

% with talk on NARCAN & rural harm reduction by Queer Appalachia


This June Travelin Appalachians Revue is celebrating 5 years! Five solid years of tunes, tales, melodies, poems, yarns, snacks and good ol fashioned DIY good-timin’. This has been nothing short of a blessing.

This year we are taking our inspiration from a line in the debvut book by the novelist Mila Jaroniec, a long-time TAR contributor and friend. Because when Mila says, Trzeba se jakoś radzić, powiedział góral zawiązując buta dżdżownicą, which is to say you have to make it work somehow, said the mountaineer lacing up their boot with an earthworm, by glory do we feel it.

This year – between now and when you last heard from us – has been all about making it work somehow. This is a tough, tough time to be making art in Appalachia, but look around – we’re still here doing it, and so are you. The pundits will keep telling us there’s nothing here for us, that we’re not here at all – but bbys just lace up them earthworms, pick up your pens, whip out your cameras, pull out your sketchbooks because we have work to do & we will make it work.

The dates for this year are here:
June 19 – Wheeling, Clientele Art Studio
June 20 – WV DAY Morgantown, 123 Pleasant Street
June 21 – Hillsboro, The Yew Mountain Center
June 22 – Blacksburg, Solitude House, Virginia Tech Campus
June 23 – Matewan, West Virginia Mine Wars Museum
June 24 – Charleston, Taylor Books, FestivALL
June 25 – we’re going swimming
June 26 – Beckley, The Raleigh Playhouse and Theatre, BEX
June 27 – Lexington, The Kentucky School
June 28 – TBD
June 29 – Buckhannon, Dough Re Mi

Now that you know the WHERE’s, Stay Tuned to this page cuz we’re gonna start releasing the WHEN’s & the WHO’s pronto

and find us on IG @travelinappalachiansrevue & Twitter @travapprevue

While our shows are all-ages, the content does occasionally skew toward PG-13 and beyond. Life is complicated, why shouldn’t the language reflect that.

Here’s to the next five years.


Here’s a video recorded and edited by the always hustling, ever humble, wonderful human Jimbo Valentine.

This is a presentation of our showcase last year in Huntington, WV at the new Black Sheep.

don’t forget to check out Jimbo’s design studio, Amalgam Unlimited amalgamunlimited.com

Charleston Storytelling & Zine Workshop


Join Women’s Health Center of WV, Shout Your Abortion, Queer Appalachia and Travelin Appalachians Revue for a storytelling workshop and creation of a community zine. We’ll kick off with a quick workshop on how to tell and listen to abortion stories.

Then, you’ll get to create your own page for a community zine that celebrates abortion access in West Virginia. Whether you have your own abortion story to tell or not, help us create a powerful zine that shows West Virginians support reproductive freedom. Women’s Health Center of West Virginia will put the zine together and distribute it. Contributors will get a free e-copy!

This event is co-sponsored by Shout Your Abortion, a decentralized network of individuals that talks about abortion on their own terms and encourages others to do the same. #TogetherForAbortion is a month-long campaign of creative, personalized actions marking the passing of Roe v Wade.

The event is free and open to the public. Street parking is available. Refreshments will be provided. For more information, email info@womenshealthwv.org.


hello i read a thing and i liked it

“Well, to sum all this up and get to my topic, which is how Appalachian I am, I would say this: I reckon I’m more Appalachian than some, and less Appalachian than others. I’d say I’m Appalachian enough. I’d say I was raised, by both my mother and my father, to make my own sense of the world. And I was raised to make meaning by telling stories and listening to stories. I was taught that meaning is complex and shifting and difficult to state, and the more stories one adds to one’s thinking the harder it gets to make meaning, and that is good, and a good thing to keep in mind when one sees something new—that one won’t be able to make any sense of a thing until one hears not one but many stories about it. And I was raised to know that one good thing about stories is that one person might make one meaning out of a story and another person might take a different meaning from it. And I was raised to believe this ability to make our own meaning out of the world is what freedom is, and what joy is, and meaning making is a right we all have. I was raised that we all are obliged to work to make sure everyone has the right and the opportunity to tell their own story and hear everyone else’s—the easy story to hear and the difficult, the happy and the sad, the comic and the tragic. And we are all obliged to work to make sure each of us has the right to hear and tell all the stories and each make our own meaning out of them and the world, and if we don’t work toward that end, we are cheating our neighbor, and we are cheating ourselves of the joy of living, and should be ashamed of ourselves and should be forced to take long car rides in cars with no radio for all of eternity with people who grew up in places where they didn’t learn how to tell stories.”

-rob gipe

from Appalachian Reckoning edited by Anthony Harkins and Meredith McCarroll
West Virginia University Press


Charleston Literary Panel + Reading


Juliet Escoria
Elle Nash
Elizabeth Ellen
Mesha Maren
Amanda McNeil

This event is put on by Boss Babes WV, and is open to all book lovers, not just babes! Bring your questions about the process of their writing and publishing. Featuring tables & merch by Travelin Appalachian Revue & Queer Appalachia!


We’re bringing FIVE extraordinary writers to Charleston for a reading and panel discussion in the MAKESHOP at MESH | Design and Development centered around process and sense of place, moderated by WV essayist and Marshall University professor Kristin Steele.

For those of us here in Appalachia, place is very much a part of our lives. Our cities are small and our communities, regardless of size, are subject to the whims and wants of an ancient topography. That’s a fancy way of saying we have to drive up and down a lot of old ass mountains and over and around a lot of old ass rivers.

But sense of place isn’t the jurisdiction of Appalachian folk alone, not even by a long shot. In the Midwest, the lives of the people there are built around the plains. Large sections of Miami are below sea-level. In the western bog lands of Ireland citizens burn peat turf, and that heavy lusty smoke permeates even the thickest of cable-knit sweaters.

In grade school we learn that animal life has four requirements: Food, Water, Space & Shelter. It’s only natural that we human beings would devote so much time and energy to writing about space and shelter – about place.

If you’ve ever even thought about writing about place, this event is for you. The five writers we’ve gathered are five of the most insightful, daring, and challenging writers in America. This event is one-of-a-kind and rare. Literally all of the credit goes to Kayla Wilson and Juliet Escoria for bringing these writers to our home. You don’t want to miss this.

This event is FREE & BYOB.


Elle Nash is the author of the novel Animals Eat Each Other (Dzanc Books, 2018), and the chapbooks AVOKA (Ghost City Press, 2017) and i can remember the meaning of every tarot card but i can’t remember what i texted you last night (Nostrovia Press, 2016). She is a founding editor at Witch Craft Magazine, a fiction editor at Hobart Pulp, and lives in the Ozarks with her husband and their dog.

Amanda MH lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her work has appeared in The Fix, Hobart, and Witch Craft Magazine. She can be found on twitter at @GingerMidwest. amandammcneil.wordpress.com

Photo Mesha Maren
Mesha Maren‘s debut novel, Sugar Run, is forthcoming from Algonquin Books in January 2019. She is currently the Kenan Visiting Writer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and also serves as a National Endowment of the Arts Writing Fellow at the Beckley Federal Correctional Institution.

juliet pic
Juliet Escoria is the author of the novel Juliet the Maniac (Melville House 2019), the story collection Black Cloud (CCM/Emily Books 2014), and the poetry collection Witch Hunt (Lazy Fascist 2016). Her writing has been published in The Fader, VICE, Catapult, New York Tyrant, and other places online and in print. She was born in Australia, raised in San Diego, and currently lives in Beckley, WV.

Elizabeth Ellen’s stories, poems and essays have appeared in numerous online and print journals, including Hobart, BOMBBLOG, McSweeney’s, The Guardian, Joyland, Catapult and Bennington Review. In 2012 she received a Pushcart Prize for her story, “Teen Culture,” originally published in American Short Fiction and included in her story collection, Saul Stories (SF/LD, 2017). She is also the author of the novel Person/a, the earlier story collection Fast Machine and her eponymous poetry collection Elizabeth Ellen.


So, I’m back at home now — tour is over for the summer. I have a lot of feelings about that, as I know everyone else involved does as well. But my heart is full to burst and my inspiration is at an all time high. This is a sad and difficult time to be alive, but the people we meet on tour, and the people we collaborate with and scheme with and plot with, and all the places we visit, pass through, and gaze upon keeps us strong. As this project grows, so does my love. Thank you so much to everyone for your support. We’ll keep ourselves afloat for another day, together.

Thank you so much to the core crew: Kelsie Cannon, Kevin Chesser, Jen Iskow, Keegan Lester, Sophia Rehak.

Special thanks to (in no particular order): Emeran Irby, Amy Johnson, Hannah Rego, Noah Prinsen, Justin Rabuck, Jocelyn Corvus, Mary Ruthless, Dan Carlisle, James Friley, J. Marinelli, L.J. Giuliani, Tori Vasquez, Lou Murrey, Betty Critch, Mamone, Molly Graham, Jess Spruill, Ashleigh Bryant Phillips, Evan Gray, Renee Nicholson, Brittany Javins, Mallory Richards, Mary Kelley, Tyler Cooper, Kayleigh Phillips, Jamie Morgan, Nicole Lawrence, Sarah C. Chavez, Nathan Thomas, Odana Chaney, Kristin Steele, Darrin Hacquard, Cassie Lopez, Joe Halstead, Raine Rue, Dylon Jones, Edie Bab, Vann G., Rebecca Gayle Howell, Rob Gipe, Glenn Taylor, Mesha Maren, Matt O’Wain, Spice Lo, Victoria Javier, Kathleen Scopis, Zakaria, Toki Tattoo, Claire Hopple, Charity Cimarron, Emily Blair, Joseph Bathanti, Angel Walsh, Crystal Good, Rachel Rinehart, Vince Trimboli, Susan & Michael Aloi, Zander Aloi, Joey Aloi, Hannah Aloi, Roxy Todd, Torli Bush, Doug Van Gundy, Josie Martin, Hillary Kay, Rose Anne Heater, Rayna Momen, William Matheny, Avery Williamson, Lou Richardson, Kayla McCormick, Mackenzie Rogers, Liz Urse AND ANYONE ELSE I’VE FORGOTTEN. That’s everyone who fed us, put us to sleep, connected us with people, booked shows, played with us, tabled with us. Thank you to everyone who submitted to the zine, you are far too many to list here but you know who you are!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

The Travelin Appalachians Revue is gently guided by Howard Parsons, Bryan Richards and Tyler Grady.


Hey friends- if you’re new here, welcome!

Got a couple things for ya. First off, our dear collaborator, Sophia Rehak, released her debut E.P. yesterday (June 13th 2018) called “Red House E.P,” because it was recorded, get this, in a red house. Kevin Chesser, Hannah Bell and John Jacob are responsible for helping this crystal harden. These are songs I’ve had the true pleasure of hearing in person for a handful of years now each summer and some winter days, too. These are fragile songs, if only because, among many many countless other things, Sophia is keenly able to sharply intuit and understand the ways in which things that appear fragile are in truth the strongest things of all. These songs will whisper you to about greatness and strength. These are songs about vulnerability, life’s most important pursuit. I’m a hyperbole beast, I know, but I mean it when I say this lil EP is a triumph.
I hope you take a listen, and I hope if you like what hear you toss Sophia some bucks – she’s only asking $5 and that’s a steal.

Here’s a little piece about us that Howard wrote that might let you know a little clearer just what we’re all about. Thanks for reading! Enjoy! See you on the road! ❤

The support network that keeps this project alive is the most inspiring thing I’ve ever encountered. I love these people, this place, and I love you. Oh, and for the record, I do love old-time; I just think some of the other narratives deserve a place on the stage, too. Speaking of, go on Instagram and check out our friends @queerappalachia—they’re doing the heaviest of the heavy lifting.

Fourth Annual TAR Summer Tour

TAR_Tour Poster_revised6.2 WEB
Here it is, everyone. The 2018 Travelin Appalachians Revue Mobile Festival Showcase Circuit Tour Extravaganza!
“Praying to God, But Rowing to Shore”
If you’re not familiar with The Travelin’ Appalachians Revue, we are an annual mobile arts and culture festival, featuring a showcase of wonderful Appalachian writers, musicians, and artists. This is our FOURTH ANNUAL year, can you believe that??
We celebrate West Virginia Day for 10 days this year.
June 19th through the 29th
Hope you can join us, we’d love to get to know you.
Here’s the official crew:
Kelsie Cannon Kevin Chesser Jen Iskow Keegan Lester Sophia Rehak Jonathan Tyler Grady Howard Parsons Bryan Richards

June 19 – Tour KICKOFF Fairmont, WV Joe N’ Throw 7pm
June 20 – WV DAY BLOWOUT EXTRAVAGANZA Morgantown, WV 123 Pleasant Street 7pm
June 21 – Philippi, WV Wanderlust Coffeehouse and Wine Lounge 6pm
June 22 – Charleston, WV FestivALL Matinee Taylor Books 4:30pm
June 23 – Boone, NC Foggy Pine Books 6pm
June 24 – Asheville, NC Fleetwood’s. SUNDAY MATINEE 3pm
June 25 – Asheville, NC HORSE + HERO 6pm
June 26 – we’re going swimming
June 27 – Blacksburg, VA XYZ Art Gallery
June 28 – Lexington, KY Al’s Bar of Lexington 8pm
June 29 – Huntington, WV Black Sheep Burrito & Brews 9pm

Here’s a partial list of all of our special guests this year:
Rose Anne
Half Batch
Joseph Bathanti
Emily Blair
Torli Bush
Odana Chaney
Elia Chaves
Sarah Chavez
Jocelyn Corvus
Crystal Good
Evan Gray
Joe Halstead
Claire Hopple
Victoria Javier
Dylon Jones
Cassie Lopez
William Matheny
Josie Martin
Mother Marrow
Kayla McCormick
Mettaforce Funk
Rayna Momen
Rebekah Morgan
Renee Nicholson
Ashleigh Bryant Phillips
Rachel Rinehart
Mackenzie Rogers
Kathleen Scopis
Spice Lo
Jessica Spruill
Kristin Steele
Toki Tattoo
Nathan Thomas
Vincent Trimboli
Doug Van Gundy
Angel Walsh
Avery Williamson
Tessa Withorn