Donna Ray Norton is no stranger to the musical community of Western North Carolina. She’s an 8th generation ballad singer who grew up in the legendary Sodom community of Madison County, a county which folklorist Cecil Sharp likened to “a nest of singing birds.” Her grandfather was Byard Ray, a fiddler and singer who took his style of mountain music across the globe. Her mother, Lena Jean Ray, carried on the Ray musical legacy. We sat down with Donna Ray to learn more about her new album, her background, and what the music means to her.