The son of a coal miner, Ben Gilmer was raised on a Russell County, Virginia farm that has been in his family since the 1700s. Growing up in a family full of musicians, he learned to play bluegrass and country music at church, family gatherings, and—quite literally—the local barbershop in his hometown of Lebanon, Virginia.
Music was understandably everywhere, being just up the road from the homeplaces of the Stanley Brothers, the Carter Family, and the birthplace of country music, Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia. Like many folks in his generation and the generations before him, he left Appalachia but came back with a deeper love and appreciation of his home and the music from its mountains.
New album Russell County Fair is harmony heavy Americana, undeniably a sound from these mountains, but the many miles Gilmer has traveled outside of the region also ring through each of the 13 original tracks.
Check out Across The Mountains below.