My Morning Jacket/Monsters of Folk frontman Jim James has announced a tour this summer to benefit Appalachian Voices, an organization devoted to ending the practice of mountaintop removal coal mining.
The Louisville, KY-based singer/songwriter, touring under his solo moniker Yim Yames, has recruited two fellow Kentucky artists for the Appalachian Voices tour: cellist Ben Sollee and folk singer Daniel Martin Moore. The trio has teamed up to draw attention to the problem of mountaintop removal coal mining and its impact on the people and land of central Appalachia. They explore these issues on the recently released Dear Companion, an album dedicated to their home state.
"Our cultural stake in the region, from its music to its log cabins, is an indispensable part of our history and identity as Americans," the group said in a press release, "People all over the world know our country music, our dances and our stories and they call them American. They are the fruit of Appalachia." A portion of the proceeds from the tour will go to Appalachian Voices.
Tour partner Sollee is no stranger to awareness-raising tours. Last summer, he used only a bicycle to transport himself and his cello for a tour of the Southeast, covering 340 miles as part of a campaign for hunger charity Oxfam.
Jim James also has a few tour dates lined up with his breadwinning band, My Morning Jacket, including this month's Sasquatch festival outside Seattle (see the band's website for dates). He also has an upcoming solo guest spot on the Roots' new album.
Appalachian Voices tour dates:
7/22, Lexington, KY (The Opera House)
7/23, Knoxville, TN (The Bijou)
7/25, Charleston, WV (Mountain Stage)
7/26, Marlinton, WV (Pocahontas Opera House)
7/28, Charlottesville, VA (The Jefferson Theater)
7/29, Woodstock, NY (Bearsville Theater)
7/30, New York, NY (Music Hall Of Williamsburg)
7/31, Newport, RI (Newport Folk Festival: Yim Yames Solo)
8/1, Newport, RI (Newport Folk Festival: Daniel Martin Moore & Ben Sollee)