Devil In the Hills is about storytelling through Mary Hott’s music

The stories come from miners and others who lived in coal country at the dawn of the 20th century when West Virginia was transitioning from being a self-sufficient, mostly agrarian economy, to being the energy resource that fueled the Second Industrial Revolution and the enormous wealth of a few.

These are recently discovered stories that come directly from inhabitants of West Virginia’s pre-1932 coal camps. Stories of what they witnessed as children. Stories that were passed to them from their parents and grandparents. Stories that reveal not only what miners endured, but also the abuse and mistreatment of women and children. Stories that mirror many of the same struggles we continue to face today.

Generational programming continues to affect who we are as a people today.

At first the people themselves kept silent and hid the stories out of fear and shame. When they were finally shared, their authenticity was doubted, leading the people to believe that shame and silence may have been the better choices. Mary knew from her own experiences growing up in West Virginia that fear and shame causes people to hide their emotionally painful experiences. And the people of the coal camps did fight – and died – for their human rights for decades while the coal operators fought against unionization.

Peoples’ stories matter.  To share their stories and be heard can create change.

And now those who shared these stories have passed on. It is up to us to remember and continue sharing our history from the perspective of the people who lived it. By listening to Devil In the Hills and reading more about the stories behind the music, we can keep this important history alive, honor our peoples’ past, and perhaps shine some light on how we can continue to heal and grow.


Help Us Keep The Stories Alive

Please consider an advance purchase of the CD with its accompanying booklet. It contains many surprises you won’t find on this website.

The music has been recorded and the booklet has been written. We are at the final stage of mastering, production, and digital marketing. Your advance purchase or donation will help us fund this final stage and share the stories and music far and wide. Thank you!

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