Dirty Dozen : The Coal Flowers

The Coal Flowers is made up of singer-songwriters Joel Shepherd (lead vocals, piano) and Heather Shepherd (lead vocals). These siblings have been singing together in one form or another since childhood in the Appalachian coalfields of Kentucky. They are known for their intimate lyrics, tight family harmony and rich musical composition.

Can you tell us about yourself? Where you’re from and what you’ve been up to over the past few years?

We’re from a small town in Eastern Kentucky. For the past few years we’ve been practically living around Joel’s piano writing new songs and developing our sound. Once we were satisfied with six songs, we went to Nashville, TN and began to record an EP with our producer Drew Ramsey. While in the process of recording the EP, we wrote four additional songs that we felt needed to be added to our project. So our EP ended up turning into an album.

How would you describe your music?

Our sound has Americana, folk, country, pop and classical influences mixed with tight family harmony.

Can you tell us a little bit about your influences?

We have multiple influences from The Beetles and Bob Dylan to Bach and Mozart.

What are you currently promoting?

We are currently getting the word out about our self-titled debut album, ‘The Coal Flowers.’

Have you got a particular song you’ve done that you’re particularly proud of, or that might define you?

We’re equally proud of each song on our new album. Though there isn’t a certain song that defines us, each song does shed its own light into who we are as a band.

What are you currently listening to?

While traveling over the holidays, Joel has been jamming to The Punch Brothers and Sarah Jarosz. Heather is currently listening to Adele, Billy Joel and Stevie Wonder.

And your favorite album of all time, the one you couldn’t do without?

A favorite album is difficult for us to pinpoint because we have so many.  What you’ll hear on our playlist right now are albums from Sting, The Eagles, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder and The Beatles. And the list goes on and on.

What are your hopes for your future career?

To keep doing what we love, making music and successfully tour each new album.

If money were no object what would be your dream project?

Doing a world tour with a full band and orchestra, while sharing the stage with some of our favorite artists. We would also record another album.

What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Being able to have a creative outlet doing what we love to do while connecting with our fans.

And the worst?

Being a new band that just released our debut album, we’re working non-stop. There seems to never be enough hours in the day to get everything done. We want people to hear our music. Our passion drives us; this is what we were born to do. But not doing what we love to do or sharing it with an audience would be the worst thing we can imagine.

Finally, have you anything you’d like to say to the readers of Americana UK?

We hope you enjoy our music and hopefully we’ll see you in the near future.

Author: Rudie Humphrey

Rudie is the weekly host of the syndicated radio show - The Horseshoe Lounge Music Session - playing the best American Roots and hosting terrific live guests.

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