The Coal Men
Dave Coleman and his band, The Coal Men, have released four albums and kept a rigorous touring schedule for more than a decade. Founded in 1999, the well-seasoned outfit is releasing their fourth album Escalator on August 27, 2013 — with an accompanying tour with Todd Snider in October, as well as a solo tour. Escalator, is a fully realized showcase for both Coleman’s creativity in the studio and his mastery as a guitarist (having spent time playing on albums for major label studio albums) – and as a bandleader. Produced with the help of Joe Garcia, Escalator features guest performances by Will Kimbrough (Rodney Crowell, Emmylou Harris), Jen Gunderman (the Jayhawks), and Audley Freed (The Black Crowes, Sheryl Crow) – but at its core this is a stripped-down rock and roll affair.
Songs on Escalator – most penned by Coleman, but with contributions from drummer Dave Ray, who has been with Coleman from the start – offer glimpses of small-town life, economic struggle, and the complexities of romantic relationships like straight-ahead rockers “Role Model” and “Broken Heartland.” The Coal Men have earned admirers at home and on the road for years, including a yearly sojourn to Key West six or seven weeks a year. It has become a regular planned destination and vacation for many fans that follow the band. The band’s latest work is drawing particular praise. One fan is Nashville-based music critic and songwriter Peter Cooper: “The Coal Men were intriguing. Now, they’re singular. Their songs are sharp enough to wound, and warm enough to heal. Their songs welcome us to a new and unexpected Nashville.”
Quicksand is Reagan Boggs’ third and latest solo release. It gets its name from “Can’t Do Life,” a song that Boggs wrote nearly five years ago. It represents the constant tug-of-war that can go on in the mind between hopes and expectations and the reality of what is as “life happens.” It illustrates the difficulty of change and how easily we are drug down by acceptance. The “quicksand” theme resonates throughout the album. The 12 songs on the project that are her own writings expose a very raw, vulnerable side of her. They cross a range of emotions from insecurity, hopelessness, loss, and revelation. With her rich voice, she strips bare stark realities, feelings, and situations that trap people in jobs, places, and relationships. The album is not all “depressing,” she says with a laugh. She does admit the overall mood may be serious, “but these are the things we struggle with, or at least I know I do.”