Pushed to the Side

by The Coal Men

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Dave Coleman, Dave Ray and Paul Slivka examine life, loneliness on 12
atmospheric tracks, including one co-penned by Americana legend Bob Delevante

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — As excited as Dave Coleman is about the August 19, 2016 release of Pushed to the Side (Vaskaleedez Records), the fifth full-length album by his Nashville roots-rock trio the Coal Men, he’s also harboring an unusual fear: that the story of “three solid dudes trying to make really honest, genuine music” isn’t sexy enough to pique journalists’ fancy.

Please, Mr. Coleman, have a little faith. Truth is, there are plenty of angles here, including several in these excellent songs (which we shall explore in a bit, perhaps starting with the sad electric twang of “Faithless Eyes”). But it’s not as if the Coal Men’s history lacks for hooks. For starters, guitarist/vocalist Coleman and co-founding drummer/vocalist Dave Ray have been together 17 years; Coleman’s also played with artists including Matthew Ryan, Jessi Alexander and a young Taylor Swift. Bassist Paul Slivka, who joined five years ago, gained fame with Tommy Conwell & the Young Rumblers; he’s worked with Tony Joe White, Tommy Womack, Amanda Shires and Elizabeth Cook, among others. Most Tuesdays, he appears at the Family Wash with his wife, Cole, host of the “Short Sets” songwriter series. Coleman’s a regular.

And a band mentored by both John Prine and Todd Snider must have plenty of anecdotes about those experiences (even if some must remain, um, unreported). Prine helped distribute the band’s Bob Delevante-produced debut, 2004’s Nowhere’s Too Far, on his Oh Boy label; Snider pushed their 2013 album, Escalator, via his Aimless Records, then took them out on tour. They’ve also opened for the Avett Brothers, Darrell Scott and Chris Knight, among others.

Then there’s that Delevante link: in the ’90s, the Delevantes were at the forefront of the burgeoning Americana movement. Coleman, now producing at his own Nashville studio, Howard’s Apartment, recently shared a full-circle moment by helping Bob Delevante produce his new album there; he also plays on it with Ray and E Street Band bassist Garry Tallent. Coleman and Delevante also co-wrote Pushed to the Side’s sweet “Stones River.” “He’s been a father figure to me, teaching me a lot about how to treat people and handle the music business,” Coleman says. “That song is a metaphor of that kind of connection.”

Another hero, Buddy Miller, is also an advocate. Early in Coleman’s career, he played bass in his guitar teacher Duane Jarvis’ band, which opened a Buddy and Julie Miller tour; after Buddy became music director of the TV show Nashville, an Escalator track landed in an episode. Sons of Anarchy also featured two Coal Men songs, and their “Farther Find Me Now” heightened a key moment in the reality show The Deadliest Catch.

It’s just watery coincidence, however, that the band makes seven Key West trips a year for week-long residencies at the famed Hog’s Breath Saloon, a nearly 12-year tradition that began with an invitation from the Mavericks’ Paul Deakin and Robert Reynolds. The trio tracked Pushed to the Side during a stay on Florida’s tip, at Lance Taylor’s Southernmost Studio.

“We were playing really well together, very much in sync,” says Coleman, who produced. “We were also pretty exhausted from those four-hour sets. I think that helped us settle into these atmospheric and moody tunes.”

They’re atmospheric and moody, all right; their protagonists forlorn, displaced, drifting. Coleman wrote them solo or with co-authors including Stephen Simmons, Seth Timbs and Jeff Wickland — a lover of Southern Gothic tales who shares credit for the lost souls of “Willy Jett,” “Lilly Hurst” and “Travis.” Their lonely spirits hover throughout the album.

“It’s not a concept record,” Coleman explains, “but the narratives of being pushed to the side, of being on the fringe or alienated; they’re part of the story of the record.” That includes the Nashville experience itself, as intimated in “The Payoff,” a faster-pulsed twanger about trying to break through in a town where too many people make music for the wrong reasons.

Cynicism also infuses much of “The Singer (in Louisville),” which Coleman based on a story Womack wrote for Based On: Words, Notes and Art From Nashville, a book/CD collection of stories, songs and images inspired by one another. Coleman produced the music (contributors include Phil Madeira, Griffin House, David Mead and Brooke Waggoner) and knew the electric friction of the Coal Men’s “The Singer” belonged on Pushed to the Side.

The Bakersfield-nodding “Speeding Like a Demon,” which Coleman calls “total hillbilly,” conveys the flip-side “comical craziness” of road life. “It’s our homage to Jason & the Scorchers, taking traditional country but revvin’ it up in a three-piece rock ’n’ roll band that’s influenced as much by Hendrix as Hank or Webb Pierce.”

A beloved van serves as the metaphoric vehicle in “Depreciate,” which ponders fate with an understated jazz/twang. “It’s really about growing older gracefully, and trying to find your self worth,” Coleman admits. “That’s part of what this band has tried to do. We’ve always been committed to being who we are and not chasing trends.”

Though Escalator featured A-list Nashville talent, Coleman avoided guest stars this time to focus on production for the trio. Half of the tracks contain only vocal overdubs; others received slide guitar, pedal steel and similar shadings back at his home studio. “I wanted to embrace the air; there’s moments where there’s just color, like a triangle note. I tried to be deliberate, to play the right part for the song.” He says. “That’s my mantra.”

An expressive baritone vocalist (he claims Tony Joe White as an influence), Coleman also loves baritone guitar, which he applies to great effect on the title track. Its snaky tempo sets a groove that drives lyrics bound to break the hearts of sensitive listeners. But the album’s dark moments are buoyed by tunes like “Fast Rider,” a sexy, funky ode to his wife.

“We’re just telling stories,” Coleman says. “And it felt good to tell these.”

The Coal Men’s story starts in Jamestown, in rural East Tennessee, where Coleman grew up near the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. He thought he’d join his mother as a park ranger, but once he hit the stage in a local band, music took over. Switching to country when the town’s few rock bands petered out, he fell in love with Marty Stuart, Dwight Yoakam and Billy Joe Shaver. In 1997, Coleman headed to Belmont University in Nashville; he also began studying with Jarvis, Yoakam and Prine’s go-to guitarist. At 20, Coleman got hired to write songs for famed publisher Acuff-Rose Music. He also birthed the Coal Men with Ray.

“I had all these songs and nobody else was gonna sing ’em,” Coleman explains. “So I started a band to showcase them, and somehow, we’ve carried on for 17 years.”

# # #


released August 19, 2016

The Coal Men
Pushed to the Side

1.  Depreciate - (DC/Seth Timbs)

2.  Pushed to the Side - (DC/Taylor Bates)

3.  The Payoff - (DC/Seth Timbs)

4.  Willy Jett - (DC/Jeff Wickland)

5.  Fast Rider - (DC)

6.  Lilly Hurst - (DC/Jeff Wickland)

7.  Faithless Eyes - (DC)

8.  Travis - (DC/Jeff Wickland)

9.  Speeding like a Demon - (DC/Stephen Simmons/David Palmer)

10.  A Name - (DC/Stephen Simmons)

11.  Stones River - (DC/Bob Delevante)
12. The Singer (in Louisville) - (DC)

Produced and Mixed by Dave Coleman

Tracking recorded by Lance Taylor at Southernmost Studio, Key West, FL

Overdubs recorded by Dave Coleman at Howard's Apartment Studio, Nashville, TN

Mastered by Alex McCollough at True East Mastering, Nashville, TN
Photography by Connie Chornuk

Design by Bob Delevante Studios

For Publicity, contact Cary Baker • (323) 656-1600 • cary@conqueroo.com
For Booking, email dave_four@hotmail.com

The Coal Men are Dave Coleman, Dave Ray, with Paul Slivka

Dave Coleman - vocals, standard and baritone electric guitar, acoustic guitar, mandolin, electriic mando guitar, slide guitar, pedal steel guitar, percussion

Dave Ray - drums, backing vocals

Paul Slivka - bass guitar

Seth Timbs - Wurlitzer electric piano, piano

All songs written by Dave Coleman, Four Minor Music (SESAC)
1&3 co-written with Seth Timbs, designee (BMI), 2 co-written with Taylor Bates, Luandry Music (BMI), 4,6&8 co-written with lyricist Jeff Wickland, Stone Fence Music (SESAC), 9 co-written with Stephen Simmons, Shiny Geode Music (SESAC) & David Palmer, Byrdlegs Music (BMI) on a fast drive to Jacksonville, 10 co-written with Stephen Simmons, 11 co-written with Bob Delevante,  A Day's Pay (SESAC).

Thank you: 
Mothers, Fathers, Sisters and Brothers, Stephanie Coleman, Kat Martin Ray, Gabriel Ray, Cole Slivka, Jason Hitchcock, Lance Taylor, Alex McCollough, Lij Shaw, Bob Delevante, Seth Timbs, Art & family at the Hogs Breath Saloon in KW, Dan H, Kay and Truman at AC&T in VA, Jamie Rubin & family at the Wash in East Nashville, all our friends who continue to listen to the music we are making.

Dave Coleman proudly endorses D'Addario guitar strings, Planet Waves cables, and Evans drum heads, and plays Original Senn, Recording King, Fender, and Gretsch guitars.


all rights reserved


Track Name: Depreciate
Depreciate     -Dave Coleman / Seth Timbs

I'm running out of steam friends
I need a pint of blood
They don't make like they use to
I can't do it like I done

I'm nearly ready for the junkyard
Counting down the miles 
I can't remember all my travels
But boy I road'em out in style

All the luster and the shine
It's bound to chip and fade
The day you role it off that line
You depreciate

Thank you for all the cold nights
Thank you for summer days
I hope to stay in your memory
After you send me on my way

Will you put me out to pasture
Let weeds grow 'round my wheels
Will you sell me to some old gal
Will you give her a deal

*See album credits for publishing info
Track Name: Pushed to the Side
Pushed to the Side     -Dave Coleman / Taylor Bates

Have you heard about an old man, who threw it all away
Left East St. Louis on a cold winter’s day
Blamed it on a bird he once scared away
Blamed it on a bird he once scared away
He slept in his car broke down on the side of the highway

Well she can’t go back on the things that are already done
She just crossed her fingers and stuck out her thumbs
It is what it is when you leave someone
Is what it is when you leave someone
Can’t hold on to the light of the setting sun

Ooh, Don’t the lonely break your heart
Ooh, Don’t some people just break your heart
Ooh, It’s the lonely lonely broken ones that break your little heart

People pass by and they don’t wanna believe
Hunger in the eyes of the orphans wasting on the street
They been pushed to the side, to where it’s to dark to see
Pushed to the side, to dark to see
Waiting on the tick of a clock, and the feeling of a heart beat

Ooh, Don’t the lonely break your heart
Ooh, Don’t some people just break your heart
Ooh, It’s the lonely lonely broken ones that break your little heart

*See album credits for publishing info
Track Name: The Payoff
The Payoff     -Seth Timbs / Dave Coleman

The world is full of people capable of things you thought
Nobody could be capable of
They’ll break your heart and that’s the start 
They’ll cut you and laugh at your scars
They’ll make you pay everyday in your blood

But you, don’t let it get you down
No you, stick out your neck to a cut throat town

So what’s it mean to make the scene
Dress yourself so squeaky clean
Desperate to take one for the team
Another star that wants to shine
Twice as bright for half the time
Who’s place are you holding in line?

Sometimes, you have to wait your turn to come ‘round
Sometimes, you have to kill to get your crown

No matter what you do
It might not pay off for you
If the payoff is all your really in it for

Do you build a house to have a home
Do you earn your cash to pay a loan
They’ll break your bank and let’s be frank
They’ll leave you floating in the tank
They’ll put you back in file and in rank

But you, don’t let it get you down
Yeah you, stick out your neck to a cut throat town

*See album credits for publishing info
Track Name: Willy Jett
Willy Jett     -Jeff Wickland / Dave Coleman

Willy came down, from the coal camp
So he could have some fun
He needed some time, so he could unwind
After a week of work was done

He nearly works himself to death
at least that’s what he said
But after a night of drinkin’, sippin’ and sinkin’
He nearly woke up dead

CH: A child at play
Expectation and regret
Those where the ways
Of Wanderin Willy Jett

Willy came down from the coal camp
He saved two weeks of pay
Bought a new suit of clothes, pinstripes and rows
Trying to hide the worn out away

He thought he could find some fine moonshine
So he could shake off the dust
But it takes more than a can of that paint
To make diamonds out of his rust

Willy came down from the coal camp
Dreaming of a woman on his arm
And he found one down at the corner
Lilly took him with all of her charms

The voice he heard was the sweetest sound 
But it was only for that night
It was lonely he found still hanging around
Come the morning light

Well he hasn’t come down from the coal camp
No one’s seen Willy for a while
Lord we all know he’s not laying low
Cause that was never Willy’s style

He lived by a quicker minute
And drifts further away each night
Bound by the weight of a hunger
The burden of an appetite

*See album credits for publishing info
Track Name: Fast Rider
Fast Rider     -Dave Coleman

I’m a fast rider
Never care to drive to slow
When I hit the breaks in my car
I’m half-way to your door
I’m a fast Rider

I’m a slow talker
Never get the big words out right
I stumble over the cold ones
But save the sweet ones for you at night
I’m a slow talker

But you get me baby
And I get you
You seem to love me honey
Makes me love you too 

I’m a hell of a lover
You know how to pull me in
You know just how to teach me girl
I’d learn it all ten times again
I’m a hell of a lover because of you

Cause you get me baby
And I get you
You seem to love me honey
Makes me love you too 
I think I love you too, one two

I’m a fast rider
A slow talker
And a hell of a lover
Because of you
I owe it all it to you

*See album credits for publishing info
Track Name: Lilly Hurst
Lilly Hurst     -Jeff Wickland / Dave Coleman

He took up with her
At the Lincoln Hotel
A place to rest his head
When nightfall fell

Nix was a brakeman
Working this railroad town
Lilly Hurst had a red light shining
When the sun went down

She was one of a kind
Not one to fool around
Lilly Hurst had a way
In this one track town

A new moon shines the darkest
Down on a twisted path to tread
A busted light just swinging
Lilly Hurst wearing red

Nix came back one night
Needin’ his comfort and rest
He walked in on Lilly Hurst
Doing what she did best

Which man she was with
I guess I never did hear
Nix  he drew a line
Left Lilly bleeding ear to ear 

A new moon shines the darkest
Down on a twisted path to tread
A busted light swinging
Lilly Hurst wearing red

*See album credits for publishing info
Track Name: Faithless Eyes
Faithless Eyes     -Dave Coleman

Well I'm a liar and I've cheated
But I hide behind a familiar disguise
Trapped in a fire that's undefeated
It's a quiet pain behind faithless eyes

Faithless eyes do not cry tears
Faithless eyes just mark the years
of all the burdens brought on by lustful desires
Faithless eyes are not blind
They see all things that remind
The man sees through them his love cast aside

There's no purpose and no glory
In drifting into a stranger's arms
But on the surface there's always a story
But the truth lies behind faithless eyes

*See album credits for publishing info
Track Name: Travis
Travis     -Jeff Wickland / Dave Coleman

Travis lived cross town by the railroad track
Just him, his dad, and four dying walls of a shotgun shack

His mind was restless it ached and it growned
He walked this town, head hung down, most days he stayed stoned

Dogs found him laying by the trestle out in the rain
Wasn’t much left, his old flannel, just torn and plain

He’d walked out alone deep into the black
Travis and a thirty eight, the night he never came back

How could it happen 
To one of our own
How did Travis
Live and die alone

The town swore we would change, but life goes on
Few years went by, fuss died down, 'til we all forgot he was gone

Now we all drive by that rail road track
And few recall the boy Travis, and the night he never came back 

*See album credits for publishing info
Track Name: Speeding Like a Demon
Speeding Like a Demon     -Dave Coleman / Stephen Simmons / David Palmer

Late for a gig in Jacksonville 
Ain't gonna make that dollar bill
as I pull into the station
Eat my junk food, drink an "Oca-Cola"
Three quarts low past Pensacola
Trials and Florida First Nations

Pounding rain, orange cones, engine wines, the engine moans
Speeding like a demon to get to the show

Round hat parked on the side of the road
Flashing lights down I slow
Ain't got time for interrogation
Spanish moss is hanging low, 
little white crosses on the side of the road
Wondering if they found their salvation

Dotted lines, yellow lines, highway signs, and power lines
Speeding like a demon to get to the show

Pounding rain, orange cones, engine wines, the engine moans
Speeding like a demon to get to the show

Flirted with a little Europen waitress
Drank a pot of coffee, goodness gracious
Speeding like a Demon to get to the show
Many many moons ago
Some young brave Seminole
Speeding like a demon to get to his show

Dotted lines, yellow lines, highway signs, and power lines
Speeding like a demon to get to the show

*See album credits for publishing info
Track Name: A Name
A Name     -Dave Coleman / Stephen Simmons

I’m on my way, just another day and I’ll be 
Far from strong, but long gone from her name

Given to her at birth, letters that make up one word
That would prefer to never say again

Look how far I’ve come, running from her name
Like running from the sun, running from her name
A name

There’s things that tie her to me, a thing that will always be
So that we can never change or even try to deny

A name that she & I chose, letters all in a row
That a young son will forever be defined

Look how far he’s gone, running from our name
Like running from the sun, running from our name
A name

Look how far I’ve come, running from her name
Look how far he’s gone, running from our name
Like running from the sun, running from a name
Just a name
A Name

*See album credits for publishing info
Track Name: Stones River
Stones River     -Dave Coleman / Bob Delevante

Stones River I remember
Years ago in the winter
Oak Trees bare of leaves
Throwing long shadows frozen in time
I can still see mine
Down on Stones River

Stones River in the winter
Nine Acres I cut the timber
Cleared the land with bare hands
Get a fire going it's gonna be cold tonight
Yes we're losing light
Down on Stones River

Stones River in the winter
Sixty years this December
My boys a man go a little land
Building his own dreams and plans I know
I was there years ago
That's how Stones River flows
That's how Stones River flows
That's how Stones River in the winter flows

*See album credits for publishing info
Track Name: The Singer (in Louisville)
The Singer in Louisville     -Dave Coleman

The singer is back in Louisville
He's always been here somewhere on a bill 
And good you know, In fact a favorite
Lord his guitar and the way he plays it

Aw there giving him hell
And he's not taking it to well
The Singer in Louisville

The singer is drinking my whiskey
He's slowing down and looking tipsy
I know he's hurting in fact in pain
Now that they're asking for "Fire and Rain"

The old singer he's yelling at these kids
Don't like them either with there fifty cent tips
He throws a pouch in fact a statement
Then he's beatin into the pavement

The singer when he was young
He had the power he was the sun
But tonight he'll drive back home
Back into the arms of his wife and his son

My bar is closing in fact for good
It's hard to tell just when it is that you should
Aw the singer he could hang it up too
But he's got his next show in just a week or two

*See album credits for publishing info

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