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Nashville, Tennessee, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | INDIE

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Americana Bluegrass




"Larry Cordle reviews Cold Coal Town by Scott Holstein"

First, you have to have a great song. Scott Holstein's got, not only one, but an album full! Then, you have to be able to SELL the song. This West Virginian definitely does that with these great performances from his lonesome-themed new CD, "Cold Coal Town". I hear Carter Stanley & Larry Sparks influences here. There's also an unmistakable Jamey Johnson, Waylon-esque quality to this stuff, and I believe either of those titans would have been right at home with these great songs. My personal favorites are "Roll Coal Roll," a lament that wonders how long the singer's truck will hold out & just where all that coal goes -that trucks, trains & boats haul, and the dark, brooding "Walls of Stone" that really gets the hair up on the back of my neck. Brilliant writing, great sounding tracks! Folks, there's a new singer/songwriter out there - his name is Scott Holstein and he is serving notice with this set of material that he's in here for the long haul. Buy this CD. You won't be sorry! -LARRY CORDLE
(Murder on Music Row) (Highway 40 Blues)....... - -Cord


This is an outstanding recording in every way. With a rich baritone voice reminiscent of country singer Josh Turner and a talent for writing straight-to-the-gut lyrics wrapped up in strong melodies, Scott Holstein has hit one out of the park with Cold Coal Town. These great songs draw from life in coal country and build a consistent theme throughout the entire recording, resulting in a cohesive work that may very well stand with the likes of Jimmy Arnold’s Southern Soul or Marty Stuart’s The Pilgrim. Propelled by Holstein’s powerful vocals, Cold Coal Town is a trip through the highs and lows of Appalachian mountain life and the coal mining which has, throughout the history of the region, been both a blessing and a curse. Holstein’s well-crafted, compelling songs hit the themes believably, from the prisoner’s lament in “Walls Of Stone” and the civil war tale ‘Montani Semper Liberi” to “Roll Coal Roll” and the hard-driving “Boone County Blues.” Although lacking the high part of the high-lonesome sound, Holstein evokes the sound and influence of the Stanley Brothers with two songs of particular note. “Clinch Mountain Hills” is as close to something Ralph and Carter might have done as any song that actually mentions the Stanleys. And the chilling a cappella dirge “Black Water” reflects back to the folk tradition, when true songs of tragedy and loss would pass news from community to community, much like the Stanleys’ songs did with “No Schoolbus In Heaven” and “The Flood.” None of this is to suggest that Cold Coal Town is a depressing recording. It isn’t. It’s too refined and gutsy. It’s dark, but with driving instrumental work from a crackerjack supporting cast including Randy Kohrs, Scott Vestal, Aaron Ramsey, Clay Hess, and others, Cold Coal Town has an emotional impact that’s almost visual, as great music can do. Holstein has not only created a great recording, but also a fine work of art and a recording not to be missed. One of the best in a very long time. (Coal Records, P.O Box 22601 Nashville TN. 37202-2601 - BLUEGRASS UNLIMITED


The last musical recommendation I got from the late lamented 9513 was Scott Holstein, who Brody Vercher pointed out a few weeks ago. His independent CD Cold Coal Town has been produced by Scott himself alongside dobro player extraordinaire Randy Kohrs. Impressively, the entire album was recorded in one night (in Kohrs’ studio in Nashville), and great credit goes to the very accomplished band. Bluegrass backings and a soulful fusion of bluegrass-country-blues in Scott’s passionately smoky voice set this record apart. The songs, all written by Scott, are mainly rooted in his West Virginia coalmining family background, and the quality is exceptionally high. ‘The Spell’ opens the set with the protagonist railing against the woman he loves despite her “wicked ways”. It seems quite appropriate for it to lead into ‘Walls Of Stone’, the blues-infused lament of a prisoner sentenced to 99 years in gaol after killing his unfaithful wife. The sprightly instrumental ‘Leavin Charleston’ showcases the band’s tight, sparkling musicianship. Their more lyrical playing comes to the fore in another instrumental cut, the stately ’The Holstein Waltz’, which is lovely. Scott does not play an instrument on the album, but composed the tunes. ‘Boone County Blues’ is one of those cheerful sounding expressions of deep sadness which are common in bluegrass, again with really great picking. It is, perhaps, the least exceptional song here, but is still very good. The charming ‘Clinch Mountain Hills’ is a tribute to the Stanley brothers, written by Carter Stanley’s graveside and channelling his voice. Don Rigsby provides the high tenor harmony counterpoint to Scott’s gravelly baritone. I don’t remember ever seeing a country song with a Latin title before. ‘Montani Semper Liberi’ is the official motto of Scott’s home state of West Virginia (meaning “mountaineers [are] always free”), and the song tells a dramatic story, with a young man choosing not to take sides in the Civil War, just as the state was formed in June 1863, declaring: Mama stitched my uniform But no colors do I choose They’ll never take this mountain The gray nor the blue Cause mountaineers are always free And almost heaven’s good enough for me Upon this land I’ll state my creed Mountaineers are always free The grim reality of life in the coal towns fuels much of Scott’s best work. The title track has the protagonist leaving his childhood home for a better future, and reminiscing about the hardworking miner father who “left one day and came back dead”, having advised his son not to follow him into the mines. In ‘Roll, Coal, Roll’, meanwhile, the protagonist is a weary trucker moving coal down from the mountain mines. The acappella Black Water quietly and compellingly tells the true story of a fatal flood caused by a coal company’s unsafe practices in the 70s, when several communities were destroyed and over 100 people were killed at Buffalo Creek, West Virginia by coal slurry after a dam broke. Perhaps the highlight of a very fine record, this sounds like a traditional folk song, and has Don Rigsby and Randy Kohrs on harmony: Coal company said “God is to blame” They built the dam “but He brought the rain” Truth was known throughout the land Never do trust a company man Black water, black water So black and so deep And under black water forever I’ll sleep Death angels are calling out to me Black water is rolling down Buffalo Creek Death was the scene even high in the tree Fathers and children and mothers to be Nowhere to run as black water comes down And so is the lie of a coal mining town A similar flood seen from the first person, this time caused by a coal company’s reckless clearance of tree cover on the mountain, sees locals seeking refuge, but there ‘Ain’t No Higher Ground’ to run to. This is a fantastic record, and definitely my favourite of the year so far. I’ll be very surprised if it doesn’t make my end of year top 10. Grade: Aplus Occasonal Hope via Brody Vercher+ MyKindofCountry/The 9513 - My Kind of Country / The 9513

"Cold Coal Town -FEATURE REVIEW-"

This almost completely unknown country singer has roots in rural West Virginia, but his marvelous new album spent most of the year nestled away on his Web site, If you had $15 and a PayPal account, you could own a CD copy — 11 bluegrass-tinted songs penned by Holstein and sung in a commanding baritone that rivals anything to come out of Nashville this year.

Now, nearly nine months after its release, one of the finest country albums of the year is finally available on iTunes. - THE WASHINGTON POST


Cold Coal Town (Cd)
Co-Producer Randy Kohrs

Country Single Old Heartache New Year (BMI)

Rough Guide to Bluegrass Vol.2
w/ Ricky Skaggs,Ralph Stanley,Kathy Matea,Steel Drivers etc..



Scott Holstein made his move to Nashville Tennessee in 2009 from his home State of West Virginia.  Holstein came armed and ready with his explosive vocals and haunting lyrics. He seemed to be a virtually unknown artist in town but was soon noticed after his epic debut all original self-penned album "Cold Coal Town"  first released in spring 2011. His popularity on radio stations worldwide resulted in a steady rise on the music charts and his album soon became a Top 50  "All Time" Americana APD album. He was the Nashville insiders"talk of the town" and received critically acclaimed attention from Nashville's most prominent elite including "Hit" songwriter veterans Carl Jackson and Larry Cordle.

Scott Holstein was certainly no rookie by any means! His past 20 years in the music business as an under the radar sideman gave Holstein a certain unmistakable crafty style and an experienced edge to his music. It was his time to finally step into the spotlight as a recording artist and we are sure glad he did! A devoted road warrior since his early teens, Scott Holstein knows hard work and dedication. He learned the traits from traveling and performing at Bluegrass shows with the legendary iconic figures of the unique genre. 

Country music singer and former Clinch Mountain Boy Keith Whitley certainly left an indelible mark on Holstein's psyche although he never had the opportunity to meet Keith.  "Old Back 40 Band " was named from an early 1980's "My Home Ain't in the Hall of Fame" album featuring J.D. Crowe and the late Whitley.

Studying and learning the blueprint of tradition from Bluegrass music icons gave Scott Holstein a confidence in his stage presence not seen in today's Country or Bluegrass artists. He seems to already be legend. 

Holstein's savvy and uncanny style has to be influenced by many genres and legends of the past. The caliber of the band and music is unsurpassed in any style genre. Scott Holstein gives new meaning to singing from the heart! Even while doing impersonations of some his favorite country singers, Holstein adds an element or feel to the music almost as if those spirits are within him.

Holstein found his way through all the clutter in Nashville Tennessee. His music is found on all TouchTunes & Megatouch Jukeboxes-sold thru retail giants Wal-Mart, K-mart, Target, Barnes n' Noble, F.Y.E, and Best Buy. His music is available on all digital retail including iTunes and Amazon and heard on digital and terrestrial radio outlets worldwide. He has music licensed and published around the globe with recent TV placements and personal appearances. Scott Holstein came to Nashville to take the bull by the horns-and that he did !

 The exemplary music of Scott Holstein and Old Back 40 Band stay on the cutting edge of the music industry. The records produced are nothing short of Grammy-award winning material. It doesn't matter if this band performs traditional bluegrass music or contemporary, traditional country music or modern or if their home is in the new Americana music scene. Scott Holstein and Old Back 40 Band has proven to be a world class act and one certainly not to be missed.  

(NOW ACCEPTING DATES 2022'-2023') 

(615) 707-1728

*a division of Coal Records Enterprises 

Band Members