A Miner’s Life drops for Stoney Creek

West Virginia’s Stoney Creek Bluegrass Band has released a new single today, A Miner’s Life, originally recorded by Charlie Waller & The Country Gentlemen.

But this track is not just another Gentlemen cover. It has an inside baseball backstory all its own.

Stoney Creek’s Troy Strangle, whose lonesome reso-guitar solo opens their version, tells how it came to be.

“In the late ’90s, I joined the Nickel Misery Band, where Bill Dailey had written the song A Miner’s Life about his dad. We sat and worked up the song, and played it at our shows. Bill was driving the bus for the Country Gentlemen around 2004, and Charlie Waller heard it and decided to record it.”

The album that included Charlie’s arrangement, Songs of the American Spirit, ended up being his last, and was released just a few weeks after his passing in August of 2004.

So Troy suggested that the band work the song up as it was originally written.

“I decided to redo A Miner’s Life with Stoney Creek, more of the way Bill and I put it together, and I actually played the dobro.”

Serious Charlie Waller fans will recall that his cut was uptempo, with the banjo taking the leading instrumental role. Have a listen to how Stoney Creek, and Bill Dailey, reimagined the song in their music video.

In addition to Troy, who typically plays banjo with the group, Stoney Creek Bluegrass Band is Brett Smeltzer on mandolin, Kenton Catlett on guitar, and Libby Files on bass.

A Miner’s Life is available now from your favorite download and streaming sites, and to radio programmers via AirPlay Direct.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.