Stoney Creek Bluegrass Band is releasing a new single to radio on August 28. The song is called "A Miner's Life" and was originally recorded by Charlie Waller and the Country Gentlemen on their final album.
Stoney Creek's Troy Stangle noted, "In the late '90s, I joined the Nickel Misery band, where Bill Dailey had written the song "A Miner's Life" about his dad. We sat and worked up the song, and played it at our shows. Bill was driving the bus for the Country Gentlemen around 2004, and Charlie Waller heard it and decided to record it."
Charlie Waller passed away in August 2004, shortly before his banjo-driven recording of "A Miner's Life" was released. Due to the tragic circumstances, the song was not heavily promoted. Still, Louisville Music News praised the song's "haunting melody," and the Washington Post called it a "coal country lament." Sixteen years later, Stangle suggested the song to his Stoney Creek band mates. Stangle wanted to capture Dailey's original tempo and the resonator guitar arrangement that the duo had developed.
"I decided to redo "A Miner's Life" with Stoney Creek, more of the way Bill and I put it together, and I actually played the dobro," Stangle said.
Stoney Creek's version of "A Miner's Life" features a stirring lead vocal performance by guitarist Kenton "Red" Catlett, and rich harmonies by bassist Libby Files, mandolin player Brett Smeltzer and Stangle.
Stoney Creek has also filmed a music video for "A Miner's Life," featuring Dailey as the central character. Dailey, a native of Richwood, West Virginia, wrote the autobiographical song based on his family's coal mining roots. The music video was primarily filmed in Berkeley County, in Back Creek Valley and at the historic Meadow Branch Coalfield. Additional filming occurred in Virginia along the Clinch River and at the Wilderness Road Blockhouse near Duffield, and at the Clinch Mountain's Big Moccasin Gap near Gate City and Weber City.
"A Miner's Life" is being released to bluegrass and Americana radio. Stoney Creek has partnered with Gold Tone Music Group, maker of the Paul Beard Signature resonator guitar that Stangle played on the song.