Kaitlyn Baker’s ‘Heart of Appalachia’ Gets Help from Larry Cordle and Ralph Stanley II
(WISE COUNTY, VA) - Country singer/songwriter Kaitlyn Baker’s latest project had some help from two well-known bluegrass artists.
Her new single, “Heart of Appalachia,” is being released independently to MusicRow stations (impacting August 2nd). The tribute to the Baker’s homeland of Southwest Virginia has been designated the official theme song of the Heart of Appalachia Tourism Authority.
“At first, we weren’t planning to put it out to radio, except to a few stations in the region, but we have received so much positive response that we decided to go ahead and see what might happen with radio,” Baker said. “We’ve heard from people all over the country and even Europe, who love the song and the video.” (Seehttps://youtu.be/h2BfWyiYvrg)
Baker co-wrote the song with Scott Arnold, one of her frequent collaborators (“Coal Train,” “Burn”). Arnold produced the music track on the record, but for vocals, Baker turned to multi-award-winning singer, songwriter and producer Larry Cordle (“Murder on Music Row,” “Highway 40 Blues,” etc.). In addition to co-producing the record, Cordle sings background vocals, along with Val Storey.
“Larry offered ideas to improve certain phrases in the song, and he had great ideas for harmonies,” Baker said. “I was a little nervous at first, but he put me right at ease.”
Cordle and Baker premiered “Heart of Appalachia” at the recent Ralph Stanley Bluegrass Festival. A clip from the performance was incorporated into the music video. The video was filmed over a four-day period at locations throughout Southwest Virginia, including the Ralph Stanley Museum, where Ralph II is shown playing on the front porch with two of his band members, Stanley Efaw and Alex Leach.
“We filmed the video about a month before Dr. Ralph Stanley passed away,” Baker said. “We were already planning to include the museum because it is such an important attraction, but now I think that one little part of the video is a tribute to his memory. I feel very honored that Ralph II took time to help us.”
Baker donated the song on a non-exclusive basis to the Heart of Appalachia Tourism Authority, a nonprofit organization that promotes tourism in the Coalfield Region of Southwest Virginia, which has taken an economic hit because of job losses in the coal industry. She is also donating a portion of her royalties to the tourism authority. The video is now being shown on the organization’s website,www.HeartOfAppalachia.com.
“Heart of Appalachia” is available on iTunes and Amazon. Information about Kaitlyn Baker is available atwww.KaitlynBaker.com.