Ben de la Cour Releases “Appalachian Book of the Dead”

With songs that explore life’s murky corners and shadowy characters, Ben de la Cour’s music occupies the intersection between gothic Americana and dark, gritty folk. It’s a sound fueled by the stories and struggles of its creator, a lifelong searcher who’s never been afraid to shine a light on his own demons. In a genre that had become increasingly polished and pop-friendly throughout the 21st century, his stark tales of heartbreak, supernatural menace, God, and death seemed to harken back to folk’s roots, making him a modern torchbearer of a classic sound. After the release of his 2020 album, Shadow Land, along with his label, Jullian Records, Ben prepares for his new album Sweet Anhedonia that’s set for release next year, with an special single, “Appalachian Book of the Dead”. He will tour this spring with Peter Case.

The track was recorded with Jim White at his house in Athens, GA, Jesse Magnum at The Glow Studio, also in Athens, and the Bomb Shelter in Nashville (Ben’s hometown) with Drew Carroll engineering. Jim White produced the track, while the mixing and mastering was done by John Keane. The song is a duet and features Becky Warren, one of Ben’s best friends and favorite songwriters in Nashville.

“I remember first hearing the phrase ‘Appalachian Book of the Dead’ a long time ago in reference to a poem that I later found out was written by Charles Wright. I think I had it filed away subconsciously for years until Shari Smith at Working Title Farm contacted me with this idea she had about pairing authors and songwriters together on a project and somehow I ended up being paired with Dale Neal who wrote a novel called… ‘Appalachian Book of the Dead’. So I started working on the song before reading the book, then I read the book and loved it and as soon as I finished it I was able to fill in the few blanks left in the song and it kind of came together in full,” says de la Cour.

“The song is definitely inspired in part by the book but it’s mostly my attempt at capturing the feeling I always get driving through North Carolina and East Tennessee late at night,” he adds.

“I always loved the quote by Poe, ‘The best stories are an arabesque of supernatural menace and wry jesting”. This is my feeble attempt at doing justice to that.'”

Spring Tour with Peter Case
On Tour with Peter Case:
April 12 Vienna, VA Jammin’ Java
April 13 Baltimore, MD Club 603
April 14 Philadelphia, PA World Café Live
April 16 Cambridge, MA Atwood’s
April 19 Piermont, NY Turning Point
April 21 Buffalo, NY Sportsmens Tavern
April 22 Columbus, OH Natalie’s
April 23 Grand Rapids, MI Midtown
April 25 Milwaukee, WI Shank Hall
April 26 Berwyn, IL FitzGerald’s
April 28 Livonia, MI Trinity House Theatre
April 29 Cleveland, OH Red Room