March 25, 2013 - Harrogate, Tennessee — Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) will continue its 2012-13 Appalachian Reading Series with writer and Bell County, Kentucky, native Jason Howard and special musical guest Dale Ann Bradley.

Howard pays tribute to his native state with his most recent publication, A Few Honest Words: The Kentucky Roots of Popular Music. Based on a series of personal interviews with each artist, A Few Honest Words explores how Kentucky's landscape, culture and traditions have influenced sixteen notable and emerging musicians including Naomi Judd, Joan Osborne, Dwight Yoakam, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Nappy Roots, Matraca Berg, the Watson Twins, Ben Sollee and others. The book features a foreword by Grammy-winning songwriter Rodney Crowell.

“Kentucky’s influence on Americana music is unparalleled,” says Howard of writing the book. “I wanted to capture the diversity of all those musical voices and traditions. Bringing them together has long been a dream of mine.”

Howard previously collaborated with writer Silas House to publish Something’s Rising, which examined the effects of mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia.
Something’s Rising was praised by the Washington Times, Sojourners, Southern Living and a variety of newspapers and magazines when it was published in 2009.

Howard grew up in the Dorton Branch community of Bell County, Ky. He began his college education at LMU, making his reading a homecoming of sorts. Over past several years, Howard has been a regular at LMU’s Mountain Heritage Literary Festival, where he has performed music and taught the festival’s non-fiction master class.

Bradley has been named Female Vocalist of the Year four times by the International Bluegrass Music Association. She has released albums both as a solo artist and with the New Coon Creek Girls, and she is known for her distinctive, gentle vocal phrasing and covers of popular (yet non-genre-related) songs by artists such as U2, Gordon Lightfoot, Jim Croce, and Stealer's Wheel. Like Howard, Bradley grew up in southeastern Kentucky and has lived in the bluegrass state for most of her life.

The evening of reading and music will begin at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 2 in the Arnold Auditorium of LMU’s Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum. Howard will sign books after the reading. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Darnell Arnoult at or call 423-869-7074.

Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or e-mail at

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