Defending the Country

Music Saves Mountains supporters include (left to right): Randy Travis, Dierks Bentley, Kid Rock, Big Kenny (Alphin), James Otto, John Adams (founder, NRDC), Emmylou Harris, Allen Hershkowitz (Senior Scientist, NRDC), Robert Kennedy, Jr., Gloria Dumas, Ken Levitan, Henry Juszkiewicz and Dave Berryman.© Music Saves Mountains

Mountaintop removal mining has brought on the wrath—and songs—of country music artists. They’re calling the partnership Music Saves Mountains, to bring attention to the destruction of the once majestic Appalachian Mountains, and to bring that damaging form of coal mining to an end. Music Saves Mountains brings together country legends like Emmylou Harris and Randy Travis with pop-rock crossovers like Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow. Says laid-back country artist Big Kenny: "The beauty of the Appalachian Mountains has inspired countless songs in country, bluegrass, gospel and folk music, and we must do everything possible to protect them."

So far, the stars have lent their names and words to the struggle on a website, that’s been put together with the aid of the National Resources Defense Council. The partnership also gets support from the Gibson Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Gibson Guitar. They’ve included a link for emailing Congresspeople to end the practice of mountaintop removal mining—a form of coal mining that requires blasting mountaintops and has left a terrible environmental legacy. More than a million acres of Appalachia across Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia have been levelled, and over 1,000 miles of streams have been polluted or destroyed.

Says the website’s tagline: "Let’s keep the "country" in country music."

SOURCE: Music Saves Mountains.