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New ‘Coal Country Music’ CD Benefits The Alliance for Appalachia

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Coal Country Music CD web bannerCompanion CD to the Film ‘Coal Country’ Features Stellar Cast of Artists United To STOP Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

On November 10th, Heartwood, a member of The Alliance For Appalachia, released ‘Coal Country Music,’ the companion CD to the documentary ‘Coal Country’ slated for concurrent national broadcast and DVD release.

With all tracks donated by a stellar cast of renowned musicians, ‘Coal Country Music’ is dedicated to ending the practice of mountaintop removal coal mining exposed in ‘Coal Country’ — net proceeds from the release will benefit the Alliance for Appalachia.

‘Coal Country Music’ is a poignant collection of songs inspired by the central role the Appalachian Mountains have played in American music, history, and culture. From the brilliantly raw and never before released recording of Willie Nelson performing Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ In the Wind” to Diana Jones’ heart rending “Appalachia,” John Prine’s classic “Paradise,” and Natalie Merchant’s “Which Side Are You On” the songs tell of the struggle for survival in Coal Country.

An exposé on mountaintop removal coal mining and the personal stories of those it affects, the documentary ‘Coal Country’ will also see national release as a DVD on November 10th, and will premiere on the Discovery Networks’ Planet Green channel on November 14th in the new film series REEL IMPACT.

Spanning a cross-section of uniquely American musical styles, and startlingly topical, the album’s music marks the perfect complement, with songs chronicling the passions and sorrows common to the real life characters and communities so powerfully portrayed in the film.

01 – Cedar Hill refugees with Ralph Stanley “Keys to the Kingdom”
02 – Gillian Welch “Acony Belly”
03 – Celeste Krenz “Big Coal River”
04 – Jason and the Scorchers “Beat on the Mountain”
05 – John Prine “Paradise”
06 – Kathy Mattea “Red Winged Blackbird”
07 – Justin Townes Earle “Down in the Valley”
08 – Jason Wilber “In Her Veins”
09 – Shirley Stewart Burns “Leave Those Mountains Down”
10 – Natalie Merchant “Which Side Are You On”
11 – Diana Jones “Appalachia”
12 – Tom T. Hall “I’m a Coal Mining Man”
13 – John Prine & Bonnie Raitt “Angel From Montgomery” – Duet
14 – Phylis Geller “Canary”
15 – Jean Ritchie “Now is the Cool of the Day”
16 – The Klezmatics “Heaven”
17 – Schuyler Fisk “(It’s a) Long Walk Home”
18 – Public Outcry “Can’t Put it Back (Wrecklamation Song)”
19 – Willie Nelson “Blowin’ in the Wind”

The Appalachian Mountains have played a central role in this nation’s history, cultural heritage and musical traditions. There is not a musician on this compilation whose music does not owe a substantial debt to those traditions, which debt they freely acknowledge, and hope in some small measure to repay with this album, dedicated as it is to protecting those mountains and preserving those cultural traditions.
– Bob Santelli, Executive Directory, Grammy Museum

Available from Heartwood

4 Responses to “New ‘Coal Country Music’ CD Benefits The Alliance for Appalachia”

  1. Susan Coburn Says:

    Wow thanks for leaving a list of the people who are trying to destroy our economy…If it wasnt for strip mining, we wouldnt have most of the business that are NOW in this area…because they are built on reclaimed strip mines, including hospitals, schools, factories, etc…Now I get to forward all the names of the country music stars we have supported over the years to boycott them.

  2. EXile Says:

    Check your reality Sister Susan Coburn, it is the coal companies who have historically smothered the potential of these mountain areas. In fact we are not far removed from the company stores or the company houses. This behemoth of an industry has controlled any and all viable development that can provide a living wage to residents.

    You neglect to even address the myriad of environmental atrocities inherent to this industry. Our mountains, rivers and streams are delicately balanced ecosystems, which left to their own devices will manage themselves into perpetuity. It is not until man interferes and thrust his will upon it that nature is left defenseless.

    I actually pity those that think like you, you are doomed to your own destructiveness. My solemn hope is that you will open your eyes, mind and heart, and take a good long look at the state of the environment around you, and not just the quickest route to the Super WalMart.

    I wish you well.

  3. Dick Ochs Says:


    (by Dick Ochs, sung to “Country Roads” by John Denver, Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert)

    G Em
    No more heaven, West Virginia
    D C G
    Mountaintop removal, poisoning the rivers
    G Em
    Coal is king here, cutting down the trees
    D C G
    Dusty ghost of mountains, blowing in the breeze
    G D
    Strip mine roads, took my home
    Em C
    And the place, I once belonged
    G D
    West Virginia, mountain blasting
    C G
    Took my home, strip mine roads (at end of song, add extra line at bottom)

    G Em
    All my memories, become forsaken
    D C G
    As the fish and wildlife, habitat is taken
    G Em
    Dark and dusty, painted on the sky
    D C G
    Barren sight of moonscape, teardrop in my eye ? strip mine (cho.)


    Em D G
    I hear her voice in the morning hours she calls me.
    C G D
    spirit of the mountains begs me please stop the pain.
    Em F C
    Lookin’ down the road I get a feelin’ that
    G D D7
    We should’a stopped it yesterday, yesterday ? strip mine (cho.)


    (End: after last line of chorus, repeat “took my home” Note different chord pattern):
    D C G
    Took my home, Heaven knows – – – – (slow tempo and hit C for 4 beats, then end in G)

    (( See video at Get this song at: ))

  4. vince herman Says:

    you can add my name to the list of performers working to end MTR

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