Talking Across the Lines is the organizational vehicle for diverse documentary services, programs, and performances offered by Michael Kline and Carrie Nobel Kline, often with the assistance of community or college interns. The Klines love to record Appalachian voices telling about their lives and families, oftentimes facing challenging times in the wake of misfortunes in failing energy industries. These voices and views are often excluded from national and regional conversations and visioning, but they find a platform in our audio histories and community profiles created from many sources and points of view. This conversational approach to making history out of many voices addresses diverse issues of human and earthly survival with competing wit and wisdom.
As a performing duet, the Klines mingle stirring harmonies with interweaving guitar runs and cross-chording to produce an authentic sound that captures and conveys the spirit of the people and mountains they love to sing about. From ancient ballads passed down through a score of generations to current songs of struggle in the coalfields, they address mountain music as social history expressing a level of truth seldom available on the printed page.
The Klines respond to requests to lead workshops and trainings on approaches to gathering spoken histories, record local and family testimonials and recollections, and give provocative concerts for all ages. They have recorded 24 CDs, many available for sale on this website.