Dark As A Dungeon – Songs Of The Mines

Rebel Records has announced that the latest in their Vault Series, Dark As A Dungeon – Songs Of The Mines, will be released at the end of March. The CD will include mining songs from 14 Rebel artists including Blue Highway, Seldom Scene, Larry Sparks, The Country Gentlemen in the mix.

The Vault Series is Rebel’s budget-minded reissue inventory, offering material from their deep bluegrass catalog. Some of these tracks date back 25 years or more, some are fairly new, and one track has never been previously released.

Frank Godbey gives a taste of the theme this project presents in the conclusion to his liner notes.

“Through these songs we can picture the world’s largest shovel overseeing an open-pit landscape, imagine trying to peer through the darkness at the bottom of a deep shaft where daylight never reaches, visualize wives and sweethearts waiting at a mine’s entrance for news of loved ones trapped below, and listen to labored breathing caused by black lung disease—is it any wonder that people sing about the hardships and hazards associated with mining?

Despite the tragic nature of many of these songs, the impact is enhanced immeasurably by their quiet yet undeniable eloquence.   These performances give us powerful glimpses into the lives and innermost feelings of miners and their families.”

Perhaps some of these are familiar?

  • Green Rolling Hills – Bill Harrell & The Virginians
  • A Miner’s Life – The Country Gentlemen
  • Paradise – Seldom Scene
  • Call The Captain – Steep Canyon Rangers
  • Dream Of A Miner’s Child – Whitley & Skaggs
  • Black Dust Fever – Wildwood Valley Boys
  • In Those Mines – Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike
  • Daddy’s Dinner Bucket – Ralph Stanley II
  • Digging In The Ground – Larry Sparks
  • Coaltown Saturday Night – Randall Hylton
  • The River Ran Black – David Davis & The Warrior River Boys
  • West Virginia’s Last Hand Loader – Blue Highway
  • The Hermit Miner – Perfect Strangers
  • Dark As A Dungeon – James Alan Shelton

Dark As A Dungeon – Songs Of The Mines is set for a March 30 release.

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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.