Scott Holstein found himself, in the Spring of 2009, making a move to the "Music City" Nashville, Tn. After years of road gigs and paying his dues along side the "Legends" of the music business, He felt he had enough under his hat to focus on his own recording career.A multi-instrumentalist and songwriter who's silent career had mostly consisted on others music endeavors kept busy as a "sideman" and "frontman" through the years but Holstein had his own bigger picture in mind! He was encouraged to make the move from industry professional and Grammy Award winning Producer/Engineer/Musician Randy Kohrs, after the two met at a festival, near Macon Ga. Randy Kohrs was producing great Bluegrass records and recording on hit sessions from Tom T. Hall, Dolly Parton and Dierks Bentley to Hank 3!
Holstein had several original albums to record and a sound all his own . He was looking for a producer with the same vision for the music as he had. Randy Kohrs would put together Nashville's Acoustic Elite to start the first recordings - Cold Coal Town - The Bluegrass Sessions Vol.1 was born. These recordings would mark the beginning of a legacy for Scott Holstein and his "Original" music!
On Aug.17, 2010 at Kohrs' Slack Key Studio, a session was scheduled. The evening session would include Randy Kohrs(dobro), Clay Hess(lead guitar), Scott Vestal(banjo), Aaron Ramsey(mandolin), Tim Crouch(fiddle), Jay Weaver (bass) and Don Rigsby coming in for guest harmonies. It was an All-Star cast of musicians that's played on countless hit recordings and members of great bands including- but not limited to, Dolly Parton, Vern Gosdin, Dierks Bentley, Ricky Skaggs, Hank Williams 3, Sam Bush and Mountain Heart, to name a few! It was engineered by Mike latterell and all tracked in one rainy night session. An "Original" album was in the making and Holstein sure had some stories to tell!
Scott Holstein, who grew up in the back hollows and hills of Appalachia is no stranger to life in a Cold Coal Town and it mirrors in his music. Perhaps his lyrical visions come from family history. His Grandfather after serving in World War 1, came home to find another war to fight- in the coal fields. In 1921" The Battle of Blair Mountain" found nearly 10, 000 miners taking up arms against the clutches of tyrant Coal Companies. The miners tied red bandannas around their necks to show solidarity -hence the true meaning of "Redneck".
The historic battle would soon bring in the Federal Government to drop bombs on it's own people! Federal troops many of whom fought in the same trenches along side other veteran miners- would now come to disarm them. Holstein's Grandfather hid his rifle among the many dead bodies that were hauled in the train car and returned to the family hollow.The U.M.W.A soon would come to West Virginia's Southern Coalfields!
These battles are still relevant in the mountains, although much of the history is distorted.. Songs like "Black Water" featuring Scott Holstein, Randy Kohrs and Don Rigsby singing a haunting acappella, tells the story of Buffalo Creek. A coal mining community who's lives were stolen in 1972, by an unsafe coal sludge dam .Four days before the disaster, a federal mine inspector and the coal company safety engineer, declared the dam to be satisfactory. One hundred and twenty five people lost their lives!
Although these stories are in the past, Holstein brings them back lyrically! The songs on the album Cold Coal Town are timeless pieces that reflect true life. "Clinch Mountain Hills " featuring Scott Holstein and Don Rigsby is a tribute to the Stanley Brothers. Ralph and Carter Stanley were a huge influence in the development of Holstein's style.He penned the song while sitting by Carter's grave before performing at Ralph Stanley's annual "Hills of Home" festival.
Songs like "The Spell" and "Walls of Stone" tell of love lost and the consequences of jealousy."Leavin' Charleston" highlights the extraordinary musical talents of the band.From "Roll Coal Roll" and the family tribute "Holstein Waltz" to the reality of "Ain't No Higher Ground" this "Boone County Blues" boy tells it like it is!
A "Great" album from start to finish and the -talk of the town! Cold Coal Town is making rave reviews among Nashville's insiders! It's making it's way to radio and soon the public.We are negotiating at the present time the release of this hard hitting Cd. The pre-order demand was impressive and we have since ceased future orders, pending exciting new developments!
The first Cd of many to come in the career of a truly great Artist! " The Real Deal"!
-Cold Coal Town- The Bluegrass Sessions Vol.1 includes 11 songs all "Original" Holstein. It's an audio ride through Coaltown Country.