In 2020, songwriter Abe Partridge discovered undocumented music in serpent handling churches across Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and West Virginia.
Their lively, rollicking music is singularly unique, because its lyrics describe the Five Signs of Mark 16: the consumption of poisonous substances, and the free-handling of venomous snakes.
Ferrill Gibbs is Abe's podcast-producing friend, who is a musician himself, and whose stints at The Houston Chronicle, City Cast Houston and KBTX (Gray TV) gave him the experience to present this story. Together, he and Abe created a critically acclaimed podcast, Alabama Astronaut.
In 2022, Alabama Astronaut ranked on Lifehacker's Best of the Year list, one of 13 best new podcasts.
“It's Abe's journey to better understand the music," wrote reviewer Lauren Passell, creator of Podcast The Newsletter, "with a story that will surprise you every minute, and some great music – maybe the most punk rock music of all time – that has never been heard before.”
Check out the series below: you can listen for free on the player featured on this page. Also, you can hear Alabama Astronaut on your favorite podcast hosting sites: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, & Google Podcasts.
It's commercial free. Also, this podcast has an informative newsletter, so be sure to join up for updates on a story that's still unfolding – sign up on the official website, here.