Appalachia Blues

from by Donna and John Paul Wright



Old River Blues was written by Riley Coyote of the hobo songwriting collective, The Rail Yard Ghosts. Riley and I talk via phone frequently and collaborate whenever we get the opportunity. In one of our phone conversations, we talked about this song and what I meant to be so lonely, traveling dark places, getting caught by railroad police and then sitting on the banks of the Mississippi nursing wounds.

That is what this song is about.

I have friended many of the folks who ride the rails. It is an honor to be trusted by them; trusted to tell their story in song and verse.


Appalachia Blues – Riley Coyote

Well another moon has come and gone-
Mountaintop reminds me that I’m so far from home,
so I sing the same damn song around the fireside in Appalachia.
North Carolina, lucky number 9, moonshine and the railroad line,
Sendin’ chills up and down my spine…

These old river blues, scarlet mountain top, little smoky mountain creek,
Blue Ridge trickle drop by drop.. and if I go back to Tennessee..
gonna cry my tears and pour my blood into that old Mississippi.
She’s got it bad just like me! Trashed, dirty and flowin’ free like the murky blood of a
forgotten country.

Well it’s time for me to see what it means for me to be free.
Something old, something new some true mystery.
I’m headin north for the Atlantic seaboard shore,
Time for me to see what it means to be, and if I ain’t coming back,
don’t you worry or wait for me cause I’ll get the last laugh.
Walking down that old railroad track, plan to be long gone from here when
the sky gets painted black.

Riley Coyote


from Tapestry, released September 25, 2017


all rights reserved



John Paul Wright Louisville, Kentucky

John Paul Wright is a community organizer, union organizer / Labor Singer and Djembe player. Working Locomotive Engineer and Folk Musician.. a man of many hats..

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