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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Appalachian Singer-Songwriter Martha Spencer Releases New Video for The Song 'Young Rover'

By Devon Legere. Photo Credit: Atomic City Photography

New video for the song 'Young Rover' from Appalachian singer-songwriter Martha Spencer.

Martha comes from deep in mountain music, but she wrote this song intentionally as an answer to the many Appalachian murder ballads murdering young women. "Never let a man drive you to your grave" she sings. Beautiful song, great video! Martha’s new album, Wonderland, is coming September 2, 2022.

If you reach Appalachian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Martha Spencer, it’ll be from the top of her mountain in Virginia, likely when she’s out walking in the woods. Spencer grew up nestled into hills as old as time. Raised in mountain music (she grew up in the famed Whitetop Mountain Band, which dates back to the 1940s), Spencer channels the old sounds, but she can just as easily create new sounds from her worldly travels. Half of the songs on her new album, Wonderland, coming September 2, 2022, are newly written, showcasing songwriting influences from classic icons like Dolly Parton and Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard to modern underground Nashville songwriters like Lillie Mae.

Her second solo album, Wonderland comes on the heels of Spencer’s acclaimed self-titled 2018 album that saw rave reviews from Rolling Stone Magazine (“both traditional and timeless”), No Depression (“an invaluable resource”), and more. On Wonderland, new songs rub shoulders with traditional songs; universal ideas, themes, and tropes fluidly passing back and forth. It’s a testament to Spencer’s clever ear for turning a phrase, the kind of gift that used to make country singers famous. In Spencer’s hands, the songs shine with a humble beating heart, speaking the truths of her small mountain community, while telling the stories of the music and the people she grew up with, the kind of people who put “rags over riches, joy over judgment, love over all,” in her words.

Martha Spencer is a singer-songwriter, mountain musician and dancer from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. She grew up in the musical Spencer family and learned to play several instruments (guitar, fiddle, banjo, bass, dulcimer, mandolin) and flatfoot/clog at a young age. She performs and has recorded with various groups and has been involved with several roots music projects. She has played shows, festivals and led workshops across the US, Australia, UK, and Europe.


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