Dark As A Dungeon Songs Of The Mines (2010)

Various Artists

Since the earliest days of commercially recorded country music, songs about mining have had a significant place both on records and in oral tradition. Early on the theme was most often a tragic local disaster; more recently songs have dealt with damage to the land and damage to human health. While this is a new collection, the songs here were recorded over many years: what they have in common—in addition to the mining them—is that these are fine musical performances, from the classic version of John Prine’s Paradise as done by the Seldom Scene, to the Steep Canyon Rangers’ forceful Call The Captain. Although most of the songs deal with the perils and troubles of mining, there are a few that project a nostalgic aspect, such as David Davis’ The River Ran Black—a powerful piece of music—and the obscure but wonderful Randall Hylton song, Coal Town Saturday Night. Other notable cuts include Becky Buller’s In Those Mines as sung by Valerie Smith, and the Wildwood Valley Boys’ Black Dust Fever, but all the tracks are first rate. Other artists included are James Alan Shelton, Country Gentlemen, Larry Sparks, Bill Harrell, and Blue Highway. An impressive collection with 14 fine tracks, and a nice addition to Rebel’s budget series.

*Available On CD

Price: $9.00

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