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Band Country Rock


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"Music Row"


Coaltrain: the title tune to this West Virginia band's debut CD does indeed, begin with train sound effects. There's a dandy fiddle-drenched revival of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils' "If you wanna get to heaven" plusBurn the Last Honky Tonk Down," "Hillbilly Hottie," "Whiskey on my breath" "Girls with Tattoos," and "All Likkered Up" are all Deep-fried delights. EAR-CANDY, BEST SINGLE IN DEC. AND ALBUM OF THE MONTH.....Remember the name of this group. Coaltrain is from West Virginia. They excited 45,000 fans at a Jamboree in the Hills festival outside of Wheeling. With this album, Coaltrain firmly establishes that they are a group that is to be taken seriously. They have shared the stage with Keith Urban, Montgomery Gentry, Brad Paisley, Earl Thomas Conley, and others. They sound like a train blowin out smoke pulling in carloads of raw energy from one end of the line to the other. - Robert K Oermann

"Coaltrain Pulls through Auburn"

Last friday night, beneath pictures of music legends and beer advertisements, West Virginia's Coaltrain took the stage and rocked the Strutting Duck. And with three part harmonies, rowdy fiddle work and dueling telecasters they had a room full of beer drinkers smiling. Hailing from the small coal-mining town of Wheeling, W.Va the sextet describes their sound as "country and Mountian music," with roots in rock, blues and folk. Friday night they dabbled in all of these realms as they played three sets, the first of which featured mostly originals off thier recently released eponymnous debut album, "Coaltrain, Nowhere West Virginia, and Whiskey on my breath being standouts. Midway through the orignials they found time for a crowd favorite -the spot on cover of steve Earle's small town ode, "Someday."

The second set showed the audience what Coaltrain could do with other people's tunes. Among these were the obigatory Johnny Cash covers "cocaine blues, and "Folsom prison blues, and a surprisingly appropriate countrified version of Queens "Fat bottom Girls, the third set streched past last call and featured another handful of originals.

Now, its easy to write a country band off as poseurs when they whip out a lady-pleaser, with a title like "hillbilly hottie/" a chuggin country anthem off the album from the same school of romantic thought as "Honky tonk Badonkadonk," but the guys of Coaltrain seem to be real, sincere Southern boys at heart. When lead singer Chris Denham mounted a chair to solo on his fiddle,k smiling from ear to ear, this couldn't have been more apparent. - Andrew R. Jones 07/05/07

"Cowboys Cut a Rug"

As if playing the violin isn't hard enough, Chris Denham of the band Coaltrain does it while riding the mechanical bull during the Futurity Dance at the Country Club on Washington Road in Augusta Wednesday evening. - Michael Holahan/Augusta Chronicles

"Coaltrain/Cowboy Troy at Capones"

Fans in Johnson City, TN can catch the country rapper, Cowboy Troy, playing with a train of a different sort as Nashville country-rock band Coaltrain plays host to the Nashville star at 10 p.m. Saturday, August 9th at Capone’s. -

"Coaltrain Returns Home...One Night Only"

Coaltrain returns home on Tuesday July,28 2009 to play a show at the Marshall County Fair..They are having a CD release party as well to celebrate the release of the promising EP, "How I Roll".. They will also be bringing special guest, Dan Evans(best known from The Biggest Loser)with them..Show time is 9:00p.m - Wheeling News Register

"Cowboy Troy & Coaltrain in Clarksville,Tn"

Clarksville Tennessee was the place to be this weekend. On one of the stops were Cowboy Troy and CoalTrain. Kickers Country Club in Clarksville, Tennessee was the place to be on Friday April 18, 2008. Coal Train opened the show just after 10:00 PM and later Cowboy Troy changed the tempo just a little and got a little rowdy too. This was onther great show at Kickers Country Club. - Roland Woodworth

"John Rich sets his guitar on fire and Cowboy Troy falls on his bum"

Last night's show here in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Hilton was great fun! It was a rowdy show for a rowdy crowd. Not only did JR set his guitar on fire with a bottle of rum and a book of matches. But a spot on stage was flaming up due to excess rum. The hilarious part is when I went over to stomp out the flaming rum and slipped and wound up putting out the the large flame with my large hindquarter. Sebastian Bach and I laughed pretty hard about it. Just glad I didn't fall on 2 Foot Fred! I hope someone caught it on video and put it on youtube, because it was funny!

After my brief stint as a firefighter, I got cleaned up and took my "Savor the Jager" party to the hottest club in Vegas, LAX! We got a chance to hang out in the VIP area with champion rodeo cowboy Pepper Fipps (National Finals Rodeo is in town as well as Chris Denham from Coaltrain, and Mr. Belding from "Saved by the Bell" was also in the house). Photos will be up later today. Day 2 is tonight. Hang on tight! - Nashville Gab


Coaltrain's eponymous first album came out on Reptile Records in 2007. The first single, "If You Want To Get To Heaven," spent 23 weeks on the Music Row charts reaching #83 by virtue of airplay on stations spanning most of the East Coast all the way across the Midwest with many outstanding reviews.
Fresh off a 13 month tour across the country with Cowboy Troy, Coaltrain is touring the country in support of their sophomore project, "How I Roll"



Its a long way from the rolling hills and rowdy honky tonks of Wheeling, West Virginia to the relatively staid streets of Nashville's Music Row. But for Chris Denham and John Sixball McCombs, making the move to the Music City seemed to be the only choice in 2005.

Denham and McCombs were founding members of the country-rock band Coaltrain, and the group was looking to record its first CD. Denham is the groups lead vocalist and fiddle player while McCombs mans the bass and handles some of the harmony chores.

Wheeling is a great music town with a great history in country music, Denham says. It was home to the Wheeling Jamboree starting in the early 30s and some of country musics biggest acts got their start there.

But when you're in the country music game, Nashville is the place to be so we made the decision we would have to go to Nashville to give Coaltrain a chance, he continues. And thats what we did.

The members of Coaltrain packed up and headed south following in the footsteps of such legends as Grandpa Jones, Hawkshaw Hawkins,Wilma Lee Cooper and the Clinch Mountain Clan along with contemporary acts like Brad Paisley and Tim OBrien all of whom enjoyed early success playing in and around the Wheeling area.

Some acts are still discovered locally, but we just felt that Nashville was a more logical choice for us, Denham recalls. And we've been fortunate to have some success here in Music City.

It's a modest conclusion. Denham and his gang recorded their eponymous debut album in 2006, and then kicked around town for awhile playing local gigs before getting a big break late in 2007. Ironically, Coaltrain was slotted as the opening act for Neal McCoy back home at Wheeling's Wesbanco Arena.

We had done well in Wheeling before we left, Denham explains, but I think moving to Nashville and recording the album allowed us to get some airplay back home in Wheeling. And that opened some doors to help us land the opening slot for Neal.

Within three months, Coaltrain was back in Wheeling this time with another friend in tow, Denham's connections working on the Big & Rich tour in 2007 in between Coaltrain gigs had led to a friendship with the duo's opening act Cowboy Troy. When Big & Rich decided to scale back on touring in 2008, Denham invited the country rapper on the road for another gig in Wheeling, and a partnership was born.

We played a sold out show with him, and got a great reaction from the crowd, Denham remembers. And I think he was excited to see what we could do so we learned the rest of his set and went on the road together.

We were the opening act at most shows, and then after a break, we would back him up on his own set.

The remainder of 2008 saw Coaltrain touring the country with Cowboy Troy in support of his sophomore album ,Black In The Saddle. This included opening slots for Pat Green, T. Graham Brown, Jamey Johnson and James Otto on some dates, and led to the band making solid connections with other country acts including Dan Evans, a new country star best known so far for his appearance on the reality television show The Biggest Loser.

It (touring with Cowboy Troy) opened some doors for us, Denham says, and for that we're grateful. But I think it also showed us that we were definitely a viable act on our own. We've been able to book return dates to a lot of the clubs we played last year appearing on our own.

And, as Denham explains, it's led to a close partnership with Evans.

We're working together to book dates on the side with Dan, and we'll be touring with him as the opening act and backing him up on his own set, Denham says. We really like what he does and respect where he is coming from as an artist, and we are excited about doing this tour with Dan.

Coaltrain has come a long way from those days playing the working-class bars in and around Wheeling. They've played arenas and some of the top clubs and casinos in the United States after appearing in more than 35 states last year alone.

I look back at all we've done and I honestly know it was the right choice to come here (Nashville), Denham says. We wouldn't be where we are today if we had stayed in Wheeling, and it's been an amazing ride.

Coaltrain has seen many changes along the way including the loss of three of the original members that moved to Nashville from Wheeling, but that amazing ride will continue in 2009 as Denham and McCombs soldier on along with guitarist Jeremy Holt and drummer Rudy Miller. In addition to touring as Evans supporting act, the band will be headlining their own dates in 2009, supporting their sophomore album,"How I Roll".

Obviously, we'd love to breakthrough with a hit and get some airplay, and we love Nashville and the opportunities we've had here, but we're also a pretty stubborn bunch, he laughs, and we aren't afraid to stay out on the road and do what it takes to push this album on our own.

If Coaltrain's history is any indicator, you can bet that's exactl