The Unique Musical Tradition From The Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee

Eugene Hensley and Jobie Pray


Filmmaker, Photographer and Educator Rachel Boillot is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this photo essay.  From the book/project ‘Moon Shine’To see Rachel’s body of work, click on any image.


Tom in Casket




Charlie Higgens




Moon Shine is a collection of photographs inspired by the unique musical traditions of the Cumberland Plateau. This region is home to a rich storytelling heritage, showcased in historic fiddle tunes, balladry, religious gospel pieces and other songs passed down as part of a formidable oral tradition. Today, this old-time tradition is threatened by the limitations of a twenty-first century attention span and the popularity of commercial music. This project ultimately celebrates a place and the creative impulses it has fostered over history while also seeking to document a disappearing tradition.

As a photographer exploring the region, Boillot has channeled these traditions into a lyrical portrait of place, and the photographs in this exhibit act as a visual score to mirror musical melody. Her work explores the relationship between what is heard and what is seen, with a tension between mystery and revelation pervading the work.






Evelyn’s Childhood Bible


Mike’s Kitchen


Old Sharp Place


All images © Rachel Boillot




Book By Rachel Boillot



See also:

Post Script

By Rachel Boillot




%d bloggers like this: