Concert For Worker's Rights Comes to the Old Opera House Theatre in May

The May 13th concert features two performers who have written songs in support of coal miners and their fight for worker's rights.

By: Apr. 29, 2022

Concert For Worker's Rights Comes to the Old Opera House Theatre in May

The Battle of Blair Mountain in September 1921 in southern West Virginia was the culmination of coal miners fighting for worker's rights against coal companies and their allies. It was a major steppingstone toward unionization along with the 5-day work week, fair pay, and more for workers everywhere. The following spring of 1922, twenty-four coal miners were jailed and tried for treason against the State of West Virginia at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Charles Town, WV, the same courthouse where abolitionist John Brown stood trial just 63 years earlier. Today organizers in the Eastern Panhandle of WV have planned events to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the WV Treason Trials in Jefferson County.

The May 13th "Concert for Worker's Rights" features two performers who have written songs in support of coal miners and their fight for worker's rights. Tom Breiding has been called "the greatest labor singer in the United States today" by Cecil Roberts, President of the United Mine Workers of America. Tom has been invited to perform at the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival for the past four consecutive years and his 2020 release "Love Commits Me Here" is a tribute to the hard wrought labors of mining. Mary Hott's 2021 album "Devil In The Hills: Coal Country Reckoning" was released in conjunction with the Battle of Blair Mountain Centennial. The Associated Press called Hott's album "grim history beautifully told" and the Roots Music Journal No Depression listed the album on its 'Best of 2021' significant American roots albums. Hott and her backing band, The Carpenter Ants, were featured on NPR Music's Mountain Stage along with Steve Earle performing from his "Coal Country" album. Hailing from Charleston, The Carpenter Ants have been performing as West Virginia's troubadours nationally and internationally for over 30 years, sharing their unique sound of 'country-fried soul' with the world.

 


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