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Coal Mining Women
Various Artists
Coal Mining Women
Genres: Country, Folk, World Music
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #1

I always wondered where the heart and soul of American Music lives. I should have known it's at the bottom of a coal mine where it runs deep, dark and dangerous. This is some of the purest music that's ever been made regar...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Various Artists
Title: Coal Mining Women
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Rounder
Release Date: 7/8/2009
Genres: Country, Folk, World Music
Styles: Bluegrass, Classic Country, Traditional Folk, Contemporary Folk, North America, Appalachian
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 011661402522


Album Description
I always wondered where the heart and soul of American Music lives. I should have known it's at the bottom of a coal mine where it runs deep, dark and dangerous. This is some of the purest music that's ever been made regarding the true life blues of a coal miner. These songs take you to a world where few belong. When it's over, ask yourself, 'Which side are you on?' --Marty Stuart Featured artists include Hazel Dickens, Sarah Gunning, Phyllis Boyens, Florence Reese, and the Reel World String Band, with guests Blaine Sprouse, fiddle; Roland White, mandolins; Bela Fleck and Lamar Grier, banjos; Jerry Douglas, Dobro; Roy Huskey, bass and many others.

CD Reviews

Sounds Like Home
Dustan Creech | Birmingham, Al | 01/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I am an artist residing in Birmingham, Al, but born and raised in Harlan County, Ky (which most of these songs are about). I was 20 years old when I left Harlan County, due to Arch Mineral's #37 mine closure in 1997. This was the last of the "Big Mines" in Harland County, there is nothing left but very shallow "dog holes", as miners refer to them. My Father has been I miner for over 32 years. He went from working in #37's 8-foot tall coal seam to the tiny 24-INCH tall coal seam of Blue Diamond Steel Co, In Lesley County. After about six months, 3 slipped disk, 2 ruptured disk, and a broken knee and torn shoulder, he had to leave to low coal at age 49. This Cd captures the excruciating life of the coalmine and the hard press individuals of the Harland County Area. I can recall hearing Sister Hazel Dickens sing at church as a kid- even at my age! This is a true find. I hope you enjoy! ...Dustan"
Buy this now -- your soul depends on it.
Matthew M. Carr | St. Louis, MO United States | 04/25/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is an unbelievably dark and soulful album. The tragedies and the lives that are dealt with in these songs are rendered in a relentlessly clear-eyed fashion. This music is so deeply American that any "real" American should own a copy. I say real American because these are songs about people who are mostly hidden from main stream America, because they are too poor, mostly invisible, and so frequently silenced. These are people who just want the U.S. to live up to its own ideals. It is music so closely tied to the lives of people who just struggle to live decent lives that it really makes the listener want to build a more equitable nation. In short, it's music that is good for what ails you. Buy it now!!!! This is punk, this is soul, this is every kind of music which asked "will you be a gun thug or will you be a man" (women are included in this equation too). Its both deep blues (or deep hill music), and political statementEveryone in this album turns in terrific performances. Some of which involve spontaneous harmonizing to deeply felt solo acapella performances -- very scary stuff indeed. Which side are you on? If you can't make up your mind after listening to this album, you have no soul!"
The feminine side of the coal camp
rodney f. rhoads | Westlake, OH United States | 08/29/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is an excellent, raw and emotional compilation of both classic and newer material. It captures well the UMWA organizing and wildcat days as well as the despair of the people in the mining camps-yesterday and today. As someone who has spent 12 years in coal mining, this reviewer is familiar with several of the songs and half the singers. This is not an entertainer CD. This is a cry of the stripped out, black lung'd and worn out miner and family, male and female. Sarah Ogan Gunning is another Mother Jones -synonymous with union organizing songs of the broadside type in the 30's. Hazel Dickens' plaintive voice on "Black Lung" makes your skin crawl. The other singers do equally well in painting the picture of Appalachian coal and it ain't pretty. These are my people and this reviewers heart was tugged by these sad songs. If you want background music, forget this CD. If you want to understand the heartache of the miner then buy it!"