34 episodes

Hi, I’m Carla Gover, an Appalachian musician, flatfoot dancer, mama, and DREAMER from Kentucky. I'm on a mission to share fierce love, good humor, and inspiration to help you live a life of creative freedom. I decided to start the What Dreamers Do Podcast to help answer the question: How can we use our gifts and talents to build a better world, and have fun along the way? You’ll also find musings about Appalachia as well as interesting conversations with songwriters, poets, dancers, educators, world-changers, social justice warriors, and other people like you who are working to make a difference using their art, their skills, or just the way they live their lives. On every episode, you’ll hear ideas, conversations, and actionable items to help you unlock your creativity and live your purpose. Grab a mason jar full of sweet tea (or something a little stronger) and pull up a chair, cause it’s time to get YOUR dream on!

What Dreamers Do Carla Gover

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 17 Ratings

Hi, I’m Carla Gover, an Appalachian musician, flatfoot dancer, mama, and DREAMER from Kentucky. I'm on a mission to share fierce love, good humor, and inspiration to help you live a life of creative freedom. I decided to start the What Dreamers Do Podcast to help answer the question: How can we use our gifts and talents to build a better world, and have fun along the way? You’ll also find musings about Appalachia as well as interesting conversations with songwriters, poets, dancers, educators, world-changers, social justice warriors, and other people like you who are working to make a difference using their art, their skills, or just the way they live their lives. On every episode, you’ll hear ideas, conversations, and actionable items to help you unlock your creativity and live your purpose. Grab a mason jar full of sweet tea (or something a little stronger) and pull up a chair, cause it’s time to get YOUR dream on!

    Appalachian Art & Identity: An Interview with Matthew Sidney Parsons

    Appalachian Art & Identity: An Interview with Matthew Sidney Parsons

    In this episode of "What Dreamers Do," host Carla Gover welcomes poet, songwriter, and renaissance man, Matthew Sidney Parsons.

    Born in Kentucky and raised in West Virginia and Tennessee, Parsons now resides in Eastern Kentucky on a family homestead, where he draws inspiration from the natural surroundings and his ancestral heritage in his creative work.

    During the conversation, Parsons and Gover delve into the complexities of living a creative life, balancing multiple passions, and the realities of being an artist who is also a parent. 

    Parsons shares insights into his approach to prioritizing his passions and the impact of fatherhood on his music and poetry. The episode also explores Parsons' latest work, including his poetry book "Mountain Roosters," which focuses on his Appalachian identity, toxic masculinity, and the responsibility of shaping the narrative about Appalachia.

    The conversation touches on the intersection of art and technology, the ethical considerations surrounding AI, and the challenges and joys of parenting while pursuing a creative career.

    You'll also hear an excerpt from Parsons' newest song, "Middle Class," which delves into an exploration of values and class issues in the USA.
    Learn about the enriching impact of parenting on creativity and career, and gain valuable insights into finding inspiration in the everyday moments.

    Thank you for joining us on "What Dreamers Do," and don't miss out on the chance to engage with Matthew Sidney Parsons and his latest work.

    Where to connect with Matt:
    @miraclematts on most platforms
    Facebook
    Instagram
    TikTok

    Middle Class Song on YouTube
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    • 54 min
    The Evolution of a Kentucky Clogger: Interview with Dancer Steven Smith

    The Evolution of a Kentucky Clogger: Interview with Dancer Steven Smith

    Join host Carla Gover in her conversation with veteran Kentucky clogger (and professional psychologist) Steven Smith in this episode of What Dreamers Do.

    Carla and Steven also discuss the nuances of different dance styles, the importance of creativity in everyday life, and the challenges of teaching traditional dance styles that are similar yet different.  Steve has done it all, from Contemporary Clogging to Flatfooting to Waltz Clog to Buck Dance. Even better, he has released all of his teaching materials free to all on YouTube, which he discusses on the show.

    Get ready to be inspired to live your most creative life, and learn more about the history of clogging in the state of Kentucky and beyond!

    Steve's YouTube Dance Channel

    Steven on Facebook
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    • 48 min
    Rhythm & Resistance: An Interview with Matthew Olwell

    Rhythm & Resistance: An Interview with Matthew Olwell

    Welcome back to "What Dreamers Do," the podcast that explores the power of dreams, creativity, and the human spirit. Today we have a special guest joining us on the show. Please welcome Matthew Olwell, a multi-talented artist, musician, and dancer. In this episode, titled "Rhythm and Resistance," we dive deep into the world of dance, and how artists can use their performances and classes to address social injustices.


    Throughout our conversation, we explore the importance of acknowledging our own immigrant histories, the power of the arts in engaging in difficult conversations, and the need to create spaces for meaningful change.

    Drawing on his extensive experience in both Irish dance and Appalachian flatfooting, Matthew shares insights into the connections between these styles and the nuanced elements that make each unique. We discuss the whitewashing of Appalachian history and the complexity of its dance origins, including the influence of African diaspora dances. Matthew challenges reductive versions of these dance forms, highlighting their gradual amalgamation and hybridization over time.

    Additionally, we delve into the significance of dance and music in connecting with others, creating shared spaces, and bridging divides. Matthew shares personal stories of powerful moments of connection and understanding that he has witnessed that were brought about by artistic exchange.

    As we navigate the conversation, we confront uncomfortable histories, address the legacy of slavery, and examine our own responsibilities as artists in helping to create meaningful change in the world.  This is an episode you won't want to miss!

    Featured Links
    Matthew Olwell's Blog
    Olwell Flutes
    August Heritage Center
    Knock On Wood Tap Studio
    Loyd Shaw Foundation (dedicated to education about American folk dance)
    Country Dance and Song Society
    Maivish (Matt's Band)
    Terpsichore's Holiday (live dance week)



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    • 53 min
    Broadside Balladeer: An Interview with English Singer Jennifer Reid

    Broadside Balladeer: An Interview with English Singer Jennifer Reid

    In this episode of "What Dreamers Do," host Carla Gover sits down with the talented and multipassionate Jennifer Reid, a researcher, presenter, educator, performer and provocateur. 
    In her lovely Northern Accent, we get a glimpse of Jennifer's work, as she takes us on a journey through the various art forms that she uses to highlight working-class issues past and present and connect audiences to their heritage through the captivating world of Lancashire dialect songs.  She even sings a sample of the  North Manchester song "The Weaver of Wellbrook." She sheds light on the importance of oral tradition in preserving and passing down these songs, with special attention to the rhythm of the hand loom that echoes through the music. 

    The conversation then delves into the broader context of ballads in industrialization-era slums and their societal roles as they evolved. Jennifer shares her experiences teaching art and music, and the joy she finds in live performances, adapting her set lists to match the atmosphere of the room. 
    We learn about Jennifer's vast repertoire, and how she carries a box of 300 songs to cater to different preferences, even tailoring songs to specific locations. She touches on the healing power of live music as a form of medicine, and how she chooses songs for audience members based on their needs.

    The conversation takes an intriguing turn as Carla and Jennifer discuss the fascinating world of street hawkers selling ballads, and the historical importance of these sellers in reminding Irish workers of home. We gain insights into Jennifer's acting career, including her role in a critically acclaimed period drama directed by Shane Meadows featuring her improvisation of 1700s songs.

    The two move on to discuss Lancashire clogging and singing, and Jennifer's journey into 19th-century print culture while volunteering at Chetman's Library in Manchester. We delve into the significance of folk ballads and using music as a powerful tool for social change. Jennifer shares stories, knowledge, and her knowledge about broadside ballads and the importance of preserving folk traditions.

    The episode concludes with a sneak peek into Jennifer's future plans, possible performances in the UK and the United States, and an invitation to visit her recently updated website for more information and music.

    Jennifer's Website
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    • 29 min
    Writing Redemption: An Interview with Bobi Conn

    Writing Redemption: An Interview with Bobi Conn

    On this episode of What Dreamers Do, host Carla Gover talks with Appalachian Author Bobi Conn about her work, her writing process, overcoming trauma, and offering a counter-narrative to stereotypical,  pop-culture representations of the region. The two friends also riff about their personal experiences with healing and success, encouraging listeners to find their own path and express their best selves to the world.
    The episode wraps up with a discussion about Bobi’s two existing books as well as her upcoming novel, which all explore universal themes and Bobi’s lived experiences and struggles, with a focus on women's lives.

    Biography
    Bobi Conn was born in Morehead, Kentucky, and raised in a nearby holler, where she developed a deep connection with the land and her Appalachian roots. She obtained her bachelor’s degree at Berea College, the first school in the American South to integrate racially and to teach men and women in the same classrooms. After struggling as a single mother, she worked multiple part-time jobs at once to support her son and to attend graduate school, where she earned a master’s degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing. 
    In 2020, she released her first book, an elegiac account of survival despite being born poor, female, and cloistered. In her honest and vulnerable memoir, we find a testament of hope for all vulnerable populations, particularly women and girls caught in the cycle of poverty and abuse. 
    Bobi's second book, a novel called "A Woman in Time," was published in 2022 and draws inspiration from the true stories of her great grandparents. It portrays a woman who challenges the constraints of life in Prohibition-era Appalachia in this sweeping and richly rewarding novel about endurance, survival, and redemption.
    Bobi’s Website
    Bobi’s Instagram
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    • 49 min
    Quiet Lovers of Justice: A Conversation with Si Kahn

    Quiet Lovers of Justice: A Conversation with Si Kahn

    On this episode of What Dreamers Do, we catch up with Si Kahn, an activist, author, playwright, organizer, and singer-songwriter known for his powerful songs and lifelong engagement in labor issues, human rights, and environmental concerns. The conversation covers his experiences in the labor movement as an organizer, and his engagement as a folk singer focused on writing songs for and about real people with real stories. 
    Si shares his insights into the world of social justice actions (musical and otherwise) and offers some golden advice on how to keep going during times when political situations make us feel despair and hopelessness. 
    We also learn more about the host's own experiences with activism and social change, and how she’s used music and dance to create solidarity and community. The episode ends with a discussion about how the energy we carry in our hearts has the power to help heal the world, and that carrying signs and protesting are the only ways to effect change.
    Some key subjects shared by Si:
    his thoughts about how to keep going during trying times his experiences in the labor and organizing movements the importance of supporting Indigenous-led environmental movements the use of artistic platforms platforms to amplify marginalized voices  Links:
    Si Kahn's Website

    Creative Community Organizing: A Guide for Rabble-Rousers, Activists, and Quiet Lovers of Justice by Si Kahn

    "If" by Rudyard Kipling (poem)



    Post-Roll with information about the Appalachian Flatfooting & Clogging Academy
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    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
17 Ratings

17 Ratings

Sasha Nicholas ,

Binge listened!

Carla speaks directly and honestly leaving nothing out. She is a breath of fresh air and full of tangible ways to live better in this life. I’ve listened to many podcasts and here is a favorite. I also have learned that so like a podcast episode that has time to get into details but not so much that every episode is an hour. The time frame fits for me. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!

LC VA ,

Inspirational, thought-provoking, truth telling

This has swiftly become my favorite podcast! With a familiar conversational style Carla explores topics that will resonate with many creatives out there, leaving you feeling motivated to reconnect with your creative self. There’s a lot of bang for your listen in each episode! (I wish I was a better wordsmith to really do justice with this review!)

She-Ra1982 ,

Thank the UNIVERSE for Carla Gover!

I have been a fan of Carla for a while but now I just can’t get enough! This podcast is incredible. I carry her words, wisdom, and advice with me as I await the next episode each week. She always says exactly what I need to hear…I guess I’m a dreamer, too.

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