Jasper Coal 1000 Feet Closer to Hell

Jasper Coal is a 6 piece band hailing from Birmingham, Alabama that plays acoustic instruments with hard energy and edge. Listening to Jasper Coal is like having a nice serving of your favorite homemade comfort food. Most of the songs on the album are traditional songs plus one Pogue’s song and one original song. My analogy of comfort food is fitting because the songs are ones that most fans of Celtic traditional music would know and thus comforting especially with the acoustic instruments but the seasonings have been ramped up but not overpowering.

While still honoring the traditions, Jasper Coal adds their own grit and energy to the mix. Continuing with the food analogy, you can’t have a meal with just one dish (usually anyways) and the side dish of Jasper Coal’s original song 1000 Feet Closer to Hell is the prime rib of the dish! From the fast beats from the introduction the tone is set is for a fast paced song, with the instrumentation it is reminiscent of Cutthroat Shamrock but more Irish and less Appalachian. The song has clear influences from folk music with themes of corporate greed at the cost of the workers.

If the song is indicative of original work that Jasper Coal can create, I look forward to more of their work. It is a great piece of original work created with great craft and delivered with speed and energy. Even if you are not one for bands that cover traditional, this album is worth it alone for 1000 Feet Closer to Hell! Hopefully Jasper Coal will start venturing out of Alabama and bringing their great music to the rest of us. Now, if you will excuse me, my food analogies have made me a bit hungry!


Track listing:

1. Paddy on the Railway
2. Donald MacGillavry
3. Twa Corbies
4. Finnegans Wake
5. Raglan Road
6. Rollin’ Down to Old Maui
7. The Merry Plowboy
8. Follow Me Up to Carlow
9. Paddy’s Lamentation
10. O Caide Sin
11. The Moonshiner
12. The Rocky Road to Dublin
13. Boys from the County Hell
14. The Trooper and the Maid
15. 1000 Feet Closer to Hell
16. Fionnghual