Mama's Gone To Bed is an example of old-time music from Appalachia

Mama’s Gone to Bed is an example of old-time music from Appalachia. It was written for claw-style banjo in early 2000’s. I used to carry a banjo everywhere, practicing as I walked into uptown Athens. It was the kind of fun thing a kid my age would do, and I’d play it, with Kevin on the accordion, while we stood on the sidewalk hoping for change. It taught me a lot about music.

Story Idea

The story idea behind the song is that a child learns that “Mama has gone to bed.” Of course the child is perplexed about how things work when mother is feeling down. What happens if guests arrive? Also the child wants to help and wonders if tea and pillows will help. Also the child wants to play and sing.

Children get a little bit scared when a parent get’s tired, and maybe sick sometimes. Mama’s Gone To Bed attempts to capture that moment of confusion. I can almost imagine this song being sung as a back-and-forth on stage, between one or two character child singers and an adult character.


Mama’s Gone To Bed was released on all streaming services August 7th 2021. The recording is just a guitar and a voice (I no longer have or play a banjo).

In my youth I spent a number of years in South East Ohio. It’s difficult to not be influenced by the many musicians who travel from the surrounding hills, and small towns, into Athens to perform at the many open-mic nights available.

I call this genre old-time, but I’m not really sure if that is a good descriptor or not. Deciding on a genre feels a little weird, as is trying to write for seo. However, by my best estimations Mama’s Gone to Bed is an example of old-time music from Appalachia. What do you think?

Listen to Mama’s Gone To Bed at Bandcamp