West Virginia songwriting staple Todd Burge is a natural choice to kick off this segment, which features the folk-rock band Southeast Engine, whose members make their first appearance on Mountain Stage here. A longtime supporter of the group, Burge served as a mentor to Southeast Engine keyboardist Billy Matheny, who logged more than a decade alongside some of West Virginia's most accomplished musicians.
Led by singer-songwriter Adam Remnant and drummer Leo DeLuca, Southeast Engine draws from the rich melancholy of Appalachia and the once-thriving indie-rock scene of the band's hometown of Dayton. Founded in Athens, Ohio, where this segment was recorded, the band soon signed with Misra Records, and released Wheel Within a Wheel later that year. The group's latest album, Canary, tells the story of an Appalachian family struggling through the Great Depression.
Burge opens the segment with "Joseph's Prayer to His Baby Son," which he says answers the hypothetical question, "What would Joseph think about this whole virgin birth thing?"
This segment originally ran on November 24, 2011.