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From songs about the Bywater to the bayou, Rising Appalachia’s new album is an ode to New Orleans

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Zipporah Lomax
Rising Appalachia

It’s been more than four months since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, and Louisiana’s most powerful anti-abortion organization has been shoring up support for the state’s near-total abortion ban. Louisiana Right to Life helped write the ban, and, as public health reporter Rosemary Westwood found, the organization isn’t done fighting.

The folk-roots group Rising Appalachia has recently recorded and live streamed their music at New Orleans' Preservation Hall. And from songs about the Bywater streets to the murky bayou waters, their music is nothing short of an ode to life in New Orleans.

The band is composed of sisters, Leah and Chloe Smith, who hail from a family of southern musicians. We caught up with Leah – who goes professionally by Leah Song – to learn more about their musical performance at one of New Orleans’ most esteemed venues.

Today’s episode of Louisiana Considered was hosted by Karl Lengel. Our managing producer is Alana Schreiber and our digital editor is Katelyn Umholtz. Our engineers are Garrett Pittman, Aubry Procell, and Thomas Walsh. 

You can listen to Louisiana Considered Monday through Friday at 12:00 and 7:30 pm. It’s available on Spotify, Google Play, and wherever you get your podcasts. 

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Karl Lengel has worked in the lively arts as an actor, announcer, manager, director, administrator and teacher. In broadcast, he has accumulated over two decades of on-air experience and is currently WWNO’s anchor for NPR’s “All Things Considered” and a host for “Louisiana Considered”. He holds a BS in Professional Management from Nova Southeastern University and an MFA in Film and Theatre from the University of New Orleans.
Alana Schreiber is the managing producer for the live daily news program, Louisiana Considered. She comes to WWNO from KUNC in Northern Colorado, where she worked as a radio producer for the daily news magazine, Colorado Edition. She has previously interned for Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul and The Documentary Group in New York City.