Blow Out the Candle, Laura

The Bankester Family is hard at work on their third CD, and guitarist and proud papa Phil Bankester has produced a video about the first single. I’ll let Phil tell the tale…

Very early on in the planning for this album, we decided that we really wanted to record a Tom T. and Dixie Hall song, but we had no idea which one. I contacted Miss Dixie and she sent a large package of demos to listen to. While we were going through the material, we came across Blow Out the Candle, Laura and instantly fell in love with it.

A lot of people are not aware that southern Illinois is coal mining territory. For decades, coal mining supported thousands of families and there were disasters here, just like in W. Virginia. Due to the high sulfur content of coal here, most of the mining shut down years ago. While things were flourishing, though, I had the opportunity to go into a deep mine to take pictures – what an incredible experience! While we were visiting with Tom T. and Miss Dixie Saturday afternoon, they told us about a visit they made into an east Kentucky coal mine. You’ll hear it in the video.

Several weeks ago, I realized that we were approaching the first anniversary of the Montcoal, W. Virginia mine disaster. The new CD isn’t finished, but we talked about it and thought that it might be appropriate to release Blow Out the Candle, Laura as a single in honor of those who’s lives were lost and those who’s lives were forever changed.

Tom T. and Miss Dixie are two of the warmest, kindest folk around. We spent a wonderful time with them Saturday afternoon talking about coal mining, music, and life. I cannot adequately express our appreciation for their time and their encouragement.

For the next two weeks, MP3 downloads of Blow Out the Candle, Laura are offered at no charge from the Bankesters web site.

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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.