I came from people with machine grease on their hands. Dirt under their nails. The Bible by their
bedsides. Cornmeal and buttermilk. People who need a porch to think, a red dirt row to get lost in, a
revival to hunger for. But there are things that even a long, soft drawl can’t cover up. There are things you keep from even yourself.
In music, there are no rules. You make your own language. You can be both the Southern rock outlier and the twangy gospel conduit. You can be both the cherubic, honey-tongued innocent and the ardent punk. To get here—to find my lion heart—I had to become them all.
So I sank my teeth into Appalachia. I twisted toward the sky and let the sun blind me. I bought saltines
from the dollar store. I shook dust off the hymnal. I set the silo on fire. I hemmed my lover’s dress. I pried white quartz from river banks and ridges. Wheeled them up the hill, barrow after barrow, in a fever. I had to mine for the truth.