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The music of Devil In the Hills

       … tells stories that were kept hidden for decades.

This soulful Americana song cycle was inspired by recently discovered first-person accounts of life deep in West Virginia’s coalfields. A life that was dominated by the systemic oppression that kept miners, their wives, and children under the thumb of coal companies and their henchmen. The album calls for a full reckoning, to bring an end to the generational trauma that continues today.


Accolades …

  • 2023 opened with a concert at the WV State Capitol Culture Center Theater thanks to host FOOTMAD.
  • Broadway World covered our WV Mine Wars Treason Trials 100th anniversary concert.
  • Roots Music Journal No Depression’s Amos Perrine named Devil In The Hills in a ‘Best Of 2021‘ review.
  • Mary’s Mountain Stage performance, distributed by NPR Music, began livestreaming. Headliner Steve Earle performed songs from his Ghosts of West Virginia album.
  • An award-winning episode of Trey Kay’s Us & Them included the album and an interview in its coverage of the Battle of Blair Mountain.
  • The Journal of Roots Music No Depression featured Devil In The Hills in this WV Mine Wars Centennial tribute: Coal’s Story in Song, written by Amos Perrine.

To access Mary’s Mountain Stage performance via NPR Music Live Sessions go to LiveSessions.npr.org


Album Reviews …

“This is grim history beautifully told…. “  –  Steven Wine, Associated Press

“Hott uses her concise songwriting skills and angry, yet consolatory, vocals in a way that does not preach but rather enlightens and uplifts, not unlike what Our Native Daughters have done….. “  –  Amos Perrine, No Depression: The Journal of Roots Music

“Every once in a while, an under-the-radar artist with a new album sneaks up on me and so it is with Mary Hott with her Carpenter Ants… a musical and historical adventure… “   –  David Bowling, Cashbox Music Reviews

“With her beautiful and impassioned voice, Hott makes no apologies for her defense of workers, claiming the hills of West Virginia know stories the rest of the nation doesn’t.”  –  Tom Henry, The Blade

“Hott is a West Virginian, one brave enough to seek the truth about her state and the industry that shaped it during previous decades… It is a brilliant collection of music, story, and song.”  –  Donald Teplyske @FervorCoulee

“…stunning forthcoming album… covers the long hidden stories of the men, women, and children who labored in the West Virginia mines.”  –  Joe Wolfe-Mazares, WXNA Nashville

“Singer Mary Hott returned to West Virginia coal country for the inspiration that congealed into Devil in the Hills… The stories she collected are as dire as the songs she sings, telling them matter of factly in a folk-rock setting often influenced by the balladeering transplanted to Appalachia centuries ago.”  –  Dave Luhrssen, Shepherd Express

“… a living, breathing indictment about the hardships and cruelty of life in and around the mines. A good for you record that’s good for you in more than one way.  Check it out.”  –  Chris Spector, Midwest Record

“…singer/songwriter Mary Hott is not messing around….  While generations of songwriters have addressed the issues of environmental damage, union-busting, and poverty-perpetuating corporate practices on the part of these companies, Hott shines light on an even more disturbing legacy…  The music is bluesy and dark, and benefits from outstanding production by Don Dixon (R.E.M., the Smithereens) and Michael Lipton… “  –  Rick Anderson, CD HotList: New Releases for Libraries


… read more Reviews


Help Us Keep The Stories Alive

Your purchase of the Devil In The Hills album and booklet package helps keep this important history alive. Your support helps us continue writing more songs as more stories are discovered.

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