Brett Ratliff is a multi-instrumentalist and lifelong apprentice of the Kentucky repertoire who loves to share the stories of his native Appalachian home.
Born and raised in Van Lear, KY, the historic coal camp that gave birth to Loretta Lynn, Ratliff has made a name for himself as a solo artist and with groups such as Clack Mountain String Band; Dirk Powell Band; and Rich & the Po’ Folk with folk legend Rich Kirby. Ratliff has taught traditional Kentucky repertoire far and wide, including The Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Swannanoa Gathering, Sore Fingers Week, Augusta Heritage’s Early County Music Week and Old-Time Week, Cowan Creek Mountain Music School, and elsewhere.
Also a community organizer, Ratliff is an activist for the connection between the arts, foodways, and social justice. Ratliff has worked toward the wellness of his region with such organizations as Appalshop and Hindman Settlement School, and he has helped found festivals such as the Morehead Old-Time Music Festival and the Lexington Old-Time Gathering. His first solo release was the 2008 June Appal recording Cold Icy Mountain. Gone Boy, his long awaited second solo project, released in November 2017 on Emperor Records.