Recording American Folklife

Please see the more recent post (2/1/2024) for an update.

Journey with folklorists Michael and Carrie Kline through their lives as gatherers of story and song. The Klines will perform songs, bring along audience members on forays into remote areas and play oral history field recordings to paint portraits of hidden lives in rural America.

Telling Our Stories:
A three-part series focusing on folk music and oral histories

March 1, 8 and 15, 2024, 2-4 p.m.

Hybrid: Loomis Village (limited seating) or on Zoom

Contact: Kay Klausewitz or Nancy Clune

Learn about techniques for listening deeply in our communities, to record and tune into voices not often heard. The Klines give voice to the intersections between folkloric and environmental issues, tapping into local wisdom and memory.

During these sessions Michael and Carrie, a Sunderland-based folklife documentation and audio production team, will tell of their work and approaches to gathering community history and local knowledge. In the West Virginia hills, along with Pennsylvania’s ethnically diverse Anthracite country, southern Maryland’s Chesapeake Tidewater with its tobacco and waterman lifeways and centuries old Black communities, Cherokee, North Carolina with its Indigenous knowledge shielded from before the Trail of Tears, to western Massachusetts communities, the Klines have worked to chronicle, celebrate, and elevate the best of local cultures.

With a group of engaged lifelong learners, Michael and Carrie will explain the goals of their enterprise, Talking Across the Lines, specializing in deep listening, professional audio recording, and memory gathering and story salvaging. The Klines will share excerpts from their multi-voiced, musical audio documentaries, which have included stories tales of resiliency and love among Queer Appalachians as well as in depth accounts of coal, class, and color.

Dozens of examples of the Klines’ audio landscapes are available at To learn more about the organization visit