When singer-songwriter A.J. Roach sings about his grandfather pressing fake five-cent pieces from ore or running moonshine over the Tennessee border, he isn’t pilfering story lines from an old western film or appropriating tales told by an aging farmer he met once in a bar. When this genuine mountain man needs a little inspiration, he can just borrow a few chapters from his own family’s history. Few country and folk singer-songwriters can boast the bona fide Appalachian heritage and colorful rural upbringing that give Roach’s tunes the authentic mountain flavor for which he is quickly becoming known.
Roach was raised in the deep hollows of mountainous Scott County, Virginia, home of such legendary acts as The Carter Family. Growing up, A.J. was fed a steady diet of bluegrass and traditional mountain music that strongly flavors his own vivid and haunting tunes.
"Some of my earliest memories are of singing those beautiful old-time gospel numbers at all-day revivals," says the San Francisco-based songwriter. "Those songs still give me a feeling I don’t get from any other music."
Roach’s lyrics are at turns deeply personal, lighthearted, comical, fanciful, and spellbinding. This songwriter never loses sight of his first calling as a master storyteller. Roach’s ability to strip away all but the most necessary elements of a song gives his music a rarefied clarity and distinctive simplicity unmatched in today’s music industry.
Recently, Roach has been taking his music on the road, performing in venues all across the United States. While he says he is thrilled to bring his Appalachian-inspired music to audiences around the country, one of his primary goals is to use his position as a platform for getting people past the common stereotypes involving those who live and work in the rural mountains.
"The people who live in central Appalachia are some of the most intelligent people I know," says Roach. "But popular culture would have you believe we’re all ignorant. I hope that I can [use music to] show people the unique character of the region and of the heritage that I’m lucky enough to be a torch-bearer for."
Talented and thought provoking, this is one act you don’t want to miss. Upcoming shows, CDs, sample recordings, and the latest news is always available at www.RoachMusic.com