Country-tinged alt rock group the Coal Porters released HOW DARK THIS EARTH WILL SHINE, which includes the songs "Fair Play Virginia," "Morning Song," and "Old Joe Clark."
The Coal Porters started life as a country-accented rock band in the manner of Sid Griffin's best-known project, the Long Ryders, but with time Griffin revamped the group into an acoustic band with strong bluegrass leanings, and How Dark This Earth Will Shine is the first Coal Porters studio set to document this change in direction. How Dark This Earth Will Shine reveals Griffin is still a fine and evocative songwriter, as "Fair Play, Virginia" and "Maybe I'll Cry Tomorrow" prove, and he's singing well on these sessions. Griffin's bandmates are also solid musicians, and while this material lacks the energy of the group's live sets (particularly as documented on the album The Chris Hillman Tribute Concerts), How Dark This Earth Will Shine is an enjoyable set that proves Sid Griffin still has plenty of good music left in him. ~ Mark Deming