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Maverick – UK’s leading Independent Country Music Magazine | Review

Review by: Alan Cackett
Record Label: Aimless Records
Website: www.thecoalmen.com
Star Rating:


Dave Coleman and his band, The Coal Men have been playing their vibrant roots-fused rock music for close on 15 years and this fourth album mixes full-throttle Americana music with an introspective singer-songwriter approach. It sounds like the South. It sounds like Tennessee. In fact they’ve even included a song titled “Tennessee” a folk-rock homage to his home state in which the

Jamestown, Tennessee native sings: ‘Put my Wings to the wind/Leave the rest to the sky/Keep on painting on my pictures/Until the day I die/in Tennessee.’ There is a whole lot more to this stripped-down rock and roll affair. He paints glimpses of small-town life, economic struggle, and the complexities of romantic relationships in straight-ahead rockers like “Role Model” and “Broken Heartland.” Then there’s the atmospheric “Lonoke, Arknasa” a pedal steel and electric guitar mood piece that closes the album and dares you not to immediately press the repeat button. I couldn’t resist several times over. So take a deep breath and enjoy the Coalmen’s ESCALATOR … I guarantee it will take you up, up and up.

American Songwriter | Album Premiere: The Coal Men, Escalator

Thanks to American Songwriter for this great spotlight:

Album Premiere: The Coal Men, Escalator

The Coal Men’s fourth album, Escalator, was released yesterday, and things are looking up. There’s the fall tour with Todd Snider, who runs the band’s label. There’s the support of top-shelf Americana vets like Will Kimbrough, Jen Gunderman, and Audley Freed, all of whom make guest appearances on the album. Most importantly, there’s the band’s rootsy rock & roll, full of steady pulses and wild guitar breaks that point to a half-century’s worth of influences, from Skynyrd’s backyard boogie to Springsteen’s road anthems.

“We took time to make this album a little strange,” says frontman Dave Coleman. “After 13 years in a band, it’s easy to read each other and play as one, so we all felt comfortable going out over the cliff and playing with intensity and dynamics. The basic tracks are all single takes and [producer] Joe Garcia pushed us to get the best collective performances. The songs, I think, are a bit of a spiritual accounting; at 34, I’m taking stock in my life.  ‘Stuck’ is accepting were you are from, rather than running away from it. ‘Tennessee’ is a look at the committed path ahead. ‘Sanity’ is a song about the temp job hustle, and how you have to have a since of humor if you are down in the mud.”



East Side Storytellin’ 8-20 at Fat Bottom Brewing Co.

Dave Coleman & Dave Ray will play a stripped down set & take part in an interview for East Side Storytellin’.  Chuck Beard, owner of East Side Stories, puts on a great show in which an author does a reading and a musical guest performs, with interviews following.

UPDATE:  You can stream and listen to the entire show HERE.

August 20th will feature The Coal Men and Mike Pentecost (author of Bus People) 

TCM East Side Stories

Too Much Country – Review

Thanks to Too Much Country for this extensive review of Escalator

Check out the full review HERE.

East Nashville keeps ’em coming: The Coal Men

Another fine upcoming release (August 27) is Escalator by The Coal Men. The release will be the band’s fourth album but their first on Todd Snider’s label, Aimless Records. Unless I’m mistaken, I think The Coal Men’s new one will be the label’s first release by an artist other than Todd. He released Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables and Time As We Know It: The Songs of Jerry Jeff Walker in 2012. And Live: The Storyteller recorded at Nashville’s TPAC was released in 2011.

The core of the band is guitarist / vocalist Dave Coleman and drummer Dave Ray. Coleman’s vocals even have a Todd sound from time to time during the album though clearly the record is not a Todd Snider sounding one. Coleman has built a solid music network within Music City. Among others who contributed, Will Kimbrough added his guitar gifts to the recording.

You’ll get your dollar’s worth with this one. The album has 13 full-length and quality songs. One thing that really caught my ear in the first couple of listens was the diversity of song styles, instruments used and vocal inflections.

  • Last Goodbye – the lead-off track is a strong one. I’m admittedly not the best on picking up on specific instrument types, chord progressions, lyric composition, etc. But I do know what I like. Goodbye has a bit of what I’d call a Marshall Crenshaw vibe – and you can enable “repeat track” without worry.
  • Stuck – The band made a great choice by slotting Stuck behind the upbeat opener. A strong song that’s certainly “thicker” than Goodbye. And the chucka-chucka-chucka guitar riff? Ohh yeaahh, berry, berry nice.
  • Role Model – This song was initially my favorite track or certainly the one I’ve found myself cranking the loudest because of Coleman’s thrashing guitar work and Ray’s solid drumming with a healthy dose of cymbals. Bonus points for the horn accompaniment!
  • Tennessee – Sure, I freely admit I’m a homer and that I’m partial to the song title. So sue me. But this song is truly an enjoyable one – though one of the more contemplative songs on the album. Just as Stuck was appropriately slotted behind Last Goodbye, I think another solid decision was made with the Role Model – Tennessee sequencing.



6. “Broken Heartland” – The Coal Men   (from the album Escaltor) – Hey, ever heard this one? “Nobody is writing songs about issues anymore”. Sorry, wrong answer. There are lots of songwriters pointing fingers and naming names, you just gotta listen…..and hear is a great chance. The Coal Men target their home in “Broken Heartland”. Plants shutting down, followed by the bars and local watering holes. Towns are crumbling across the U.S. and The Coal Men tell a story that should get your blood flowing for change. Just in case you are only here for the music, the guitar that burns a trail through “Broken Heartland” has only one cause, to incite and fan the flames to take a stand.

The Coal Men fourth album, Escalators will be presented by Todd Snider’s Aimless Records and released on August 27, 2013

Muruch Music News Streams The Coal Men

The Coal Men: Escalator

Posted on 

The Coal Men’s fourth release, Escalator, is solid Americana album set for release by Todd Snider’s Aimless Records on August 27th. The standout tracks truly standout – particularly the Jack Whitesque blues-rock grind “Stuck” and the panoramic ballad “Tennessee.”

You can download a free, legal mp3 of the former and stream the latter below.

Also of note are the quirky, laidback blues ditty “Sanity” and the amped up rock riffs of “One Thing At a Time.”

Muruch Music News Streams The Coal Men


Lots of Shows Coming Up

The Coal Men have a long list of shows coming up, with more to come.  Escalator has been sent out to press and radio and the band will hit the road in late August.

First, there are some great chances to see the band in Nashville.

Aug. 2 @ the Five Spot.  The Coal Men, Ned Van Go, & Hurricane Doyle

Aug 20 @ Fat Bottom Brewing Company as part of East Side Stories.  This will be more of a stripped down kind of show with an interview with host Chuck Beard.