The Coal Porters
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The Coal Porters started in Los Angeles after the break up of the Long Ryders over a decade ago, forming out of the ashes of some of the USA’s finest Indie bands of the 1980’s and centred around ex-Long Ryder Sid Griffin (writer of the Ryders’ hit single "Looking For Lewis And Clark"). Relocating to London and undergoing a number of line up changes, The Coal Porters, at first a full on electric folk-rockin’ monster, enjoyed indie chart success in the UK and Europe and toured frequently throughout Europe and the States. Their albums Land Of Hope And Crosby and Los London received grand reviews in Mojo, Q, UnCut, LA Weekly, the Village Voice (NYC). Their last electric album The Gram Parsons Tribute Concert got a fine review in Rolling Stone both here and in the USA.
Acknowledged as a fine songwriter, a number of artistes, including Billy Bragg have covered Sid Griffin’s songs. In 2002, he was presented with a lifetime achievement award at the Premio Ciampi Songwriters Conference in Italy. In 1999 he produced Lindisfarne's “Here Comes The Neighborhood” comeback album and found himself both drawn to and inspired by the band's acoustic instrumentation. So with Griffin on Bill Monroe styled mandolin, Pat McGarvey on banjo, Neil Robert Herd on flatpickin' guitar, award winning fiddler Ivor Ottley on fiddle and double bass player Paul Sandy, the now acoustic Coal Porters Bluegrass Band was born.
“These songs fit the band’s new bluegrass style perfectly.” Country Music Round-up, USA