By Stevie Connor.
Acclaimed Nashville roots rock trio The Coal Men have announced the arrival of their long-awaited sixth album, Everett, arriving via Vaskaleedez Records on Friday, March 29th, 2024.
Produced by The Coal Men’s founding guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Dave Coleman at his Howard’s Apartment Studio in Inglewood, TN, Everett is The Coal Men’s first full-length release in nearly eight years. The album sees the long-running trio – comprising Coleman, co-founding drummer/backing vocalist Dave Ray, and bass guitarist Paul Slivka (Tommy Conwell and the Young Rumblers) – fully embracing their streamlined electric guitar-bass-and-drums approach adding only accent melodies and sustain textures from a 1950s Everett upright piano Coleman purchased from Nashville’s Downtown Presbyterian Church. As played by Jen Gunderman (Sheryl Crow, The Jayhawks), Lane Kiefling (solo artist, and piano tuner of the Everett), and Coleman, the addition of the upright epitomizes the inventive production style Coleman has developed at his popular Howard’s Apartment Studio while also bringing a distinctive emotional colour to his ever-expressive songcraft.
Everett is heralded by the strutting first single, “Black Cat,” which wa s released Jan 19.
“‘Black Cat’ is a commentary of a dangerous but magnetic attraction,” says Coleman. “Written with Taylor Bates, this song is The Coal Men’s attempt to blend the music of Tony Joe White and Marc Bolan of T-Rex. Howard’s Apartment Studio features at least five felines, so their swagger is an influence.”
From there, the bittersweet “Rather Be Right” and the anthemic “cry of appreciation” to Joe Strummer, “Come Back Joe,” Coleman draws simple, straightforward character studies exploring the unique relationships between people and the places they inhabit, some deeply personal, others more hyperbolic, but all richly constructed and resonant with the veteran musician/songwriter’s two-decades-plus adventures in Nashville and beyond.
“We’ve kept our course in these nearly 25 years as a band and I hope some folks find this record relevant and inspiring in the time it’s released,” says Coleman. “The voices, songs, playing, and recordings are curated by experience and genuinely our own. I hope they resonate with listeners who find it refreshing.”
Hailed by Todd Snider as “one of Americana music’s great songwriters,” Dave Coleman grew up near the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area in rural East Tennessee, where he thought he’d join his mother as a park ranger, but once he hit the stage in a local band, music took over. Coleman headed to Nashville where he graduated from Belmont University while writing and gigging with legendary guitarist Duane Jarvis (Lucinda Williams, John Prine, Dwight Yoakum). By 20, he had already begun making his name around Music City, hired to write songs for famed publisher Acuff-Rose Music while building up work as a guitarist alongside Matthew Ryan, Stephen Simmons, Jessi Alexander, and a young Taylor Swift.
In 1999, Coleman and Dave Ray founded The Coal Men and quickly staked a claim among Nashville’s finest outfits, earning critical applause and the support of such like-minded artists and musical heroes as Snider, The Delevantes’ Bob Delevante, Buddy Miller, and the late, great John Prine for their amplified brand of evocative Americana. Since then, the band – joined in 2012 by bass guitarist Paul Slivka – have steadily unleashed a series of critically acclaimed albums, including 2013’s Escalator and 2016’s Pushed To The Side, while also sharing stages with such like-minded acts as Snider, Avett Brothers, Darrell Scott, and Chris Knight, among others. Now, with the long-awaited Everett, The Coal Men are poised to climb even higher, fully manifesting the rich craft and triumphant energy that has defined the band since its very start.
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