Rising Appalachia takes the stage Jan. 17 at the Safety Harbor Art and Music Center.

SAFETY HARBOR — Rising Appalachia will perform Friday, Jan. 17, 6 and 8:30 p.m., at the Safety Harbor Art and Music Center, 706 Second St. N., Safety Harbor.

Tickets are $35 at the door. Both shows are sold out according to the venue. Visit www.safetyharborartandmusiccenter.com.

Lead by multi-instrumentalist sisters Leah and Chloe Smith, the folk music group Rising Appalachia has established an international fan base due to relentless touring, tireless activism, and no small degree of stubborn independence. In 2019, they released “Leylines,” their newest album that sees them fusing multiple global music influences with their own southern roots. The result, produced by Joe Henry, brings together an eclectic assortment of sounds including banjo, West African n'goni, and Irish fiddle. The sisters are joined by longtime band members David Brown on stand-up bass and baritone guitar; and Biko Casini on percussion. The band welcomes new members Arouna Diarra on percussion and Duncan Wickel on fiddle and cello.

“As far as recording goes, we’re open creatively, but we’ve often preferred elements of live recording,” Leah said in a press release promoting the new album. “I mean, we’re folk musicians at our core. The experience of playing music together in one room, looking at each other, is the bedrock of what we do and how we’ve grown up with music. I think Joe very much felt that way as well. He was very clear at the beginning that he was going to encourage us to have as many elements of a live recording as possible.”

Although Leah and Chloe Smith consider their voices as their primary instrument, Leah also plays banjo and bodhran on the album, while Chloe plays guitar, fiddle, and banjo. The sonic textures of contrasting cultures are woven into “Leylines,” enhancing the stunning blend of folk, world, and urban music that has become Rising Appalachia’s calling card.

“Our songwriting ties into those traditions as well,” Chloe said. “With some of our original songs, it’s a reflection of the times. We’re folk singers and we consider this a folk album, so there’s a lot in there. There’s word of politics, of being women in the music industry, as well as a lot about our lives on the road.”

Special guests on “Leylines” include folk hero Ani DiFranco, soulful songwriter Trevor Hall, and jazz trumpeter Maurice Turner. The album title alludes to the concept of invisible lines believed to stretch around the world between sacred spaces, bonded by a spiritual and magnetic presence. That deep sense of connection is key to understanding Rising Appalachia as a whole.

“Rising Appalachia has come out of this idea that we can take these traditions of southern music — that we’ve been born and raised with — and we can rise out of them, creating all these different bridges between cultures and stories to make them feel alive.” Leah explained. “Our music has its foundation in heritage and tradition, but we’re creating a music that also feels reflective of the times right now. That’s always been our work.”