Due August 19th, Pushed To The Side, the fifth full-length album by Nashville roots-rock trio The Coal Men, journeys through twelve songs that are awash in honest emotion, carried by a deep, desolate undercurrent and Coleman’s soulful baritone.
The seductively jazzy, brooding twang of opener “Depreciate,” ponders one’s self-worth while growing older. “All the luster and the shine it’s bound to chip and fade/Do you roll it off that light, you depreciate.” That atmospheric vibe flows into the bluesy “Pushed To The Side” a dark and heartbreakingly hypnotic tune about the “lonely broken ones,” less fortunate, and alienated from others.
Well told narratives with fleshed out characters like that of the wandering “Willy Jett,” the somber fateful tale of “Lilly Hurst” and the intensely haunting “Travis” about a boy and his .38 will have your ears finely tuned while the sadly thoughtful “Faithless Eyes” will impact your heart. “Faithless eyes do not cry tears, just mark the years of all the burdens brought on by lust for desires/Faithless eyes are not blind, they see all things that remind a man that sees through them his love cast aside/there’s no purpose and no glory in drifting into a stranger’s arms/But on the surface there’s always a story/But the truth lies behind the faithless eyes.”
The trio tackle the crazy chaos of road life in the driving “Speeding Like A Demon” while “The Payoff,” a frank heartland rocker, looks at those in the game for the wrong reasons “So what’s it mean to make the scene/Dress yourself so squeaky clean, desperate to take one for the team/Another star that wants to shine twice as bright for half the time/Whose place are you holding in line.” The album is rounded out with the urgency of “Fast Rider,” the dreams and labor that became “Stones River” and the gritty retelling of a gig gone bad on “The Singer” (in Louisville) based on the short story by Tommy Womack.
The Coal Men - Dave Coleman, Dave Ray and Paul Slivka - have crafted an album that examines life with grit and authenticity. It’s real music that deserves your attention, don’t push it to the side.