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Jasper Coal (originally "The Immigrants") was founded by Matt Parish (main vox/tin whistle) and Nathan Tucker(bodhran) in March of 2004. Having both been raised in Irish-American households the two decided to make a little drinking money for St. Patrick's Day playing at a tiny pub on the south-side of Birmingham, Alabama.
The two continued to play together gaining and losing a plethora of local musicians over the following two years. In 2006 the band formally changed their name to Jasper Coal, an homage to the Irish coal miners of north Alabama in the mid to late 19th century. They also released their first LP "Immigrant Child" and gained bass/bouzouki/banjo player extraordinaire Jeremy Burns having returned to Irish music after playing for many years in the local Irish group Shillelagh Law. A year later the band met up with guitarist Ian Hoppe, formerly of local death-metal act Entropy. Jasper Coal soon grew out of that small pub on the south-side took Birmingham by storm. For the past three years the group has been a staple in the Birmingham entertainment scene consistently drawing large crowds and selling multiple kegs of Guinness.
In the fall of 2009 Jasper Coal released their second studio album "1000 Feet Closer to Hell" recorded, mixed and mastered by Everything Burns Productions LLC in Birmingham, Alabama. The album received a positive review from the Boston based e-zine Skope Magazine, available at http://skopemag.com/2010/03/29/jasper-coal-1000-feet-closer-to-hell.
It was also around this time that Jasper Coal was officially endorsed by Guinness. By St. Patrick's day of 2010 the band had begun to play semi-regular gigs accompanied by the Ian Sturrock Memorial Pipe Band and the Alabama Academy of Irish Dance. They continue to grow their fan base both locally and internationally. Recently they have received kudos from as far away as Australia and the battlefields of the middle east. With the recent addition of a fifth member, Kevin Nicholson playing a mean fiddle, the group is finally complete.
Source: CD Baby
Video Jasper Coal W/ Ryan Morrison - Johnny Cope: http://youtu.be/mcVY3xsxgcU
CD review by Catherine Tully, 1000 Feet Closer to Hell http://celticmp3s.com/2010/review-1000-feet-closer-to-hell-by-jasper-coal/
iTunes Jasper Coal