Scott Holstein (b. May 5, 1974) is an American country and bluegrass singer-songwriter.
Holstein was born in Boone County, West Virginia and lives in Nashville, Tennessee. His bluegrass and country music is influenced by Ralph Stanley, Larry Sparks, and Keith Whitley. He writes his own music, and he is a baritone singer.He released his first full length album, Cold Coal Town, in 2011. Contributing artists include Don Rigsby of the Lonesome River Band, Grammy Award winner Randy Kohrs, Clay Hess of Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Aaron Ramsey of Mountain Heart, Jay Weaver, Tim Crouch and Scott Vestal from the Sam Bush Band.
Cold Coal Town, Coal Records, Nashville, 2011
Rough Guide to Bluegrass Vol.2,World Music Network,UK,2012
^ a b Ross, Joe. "Scott Holstein". Roots Music Report. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
^ Thompson, Richard. "Scott Holstein – Cold Coal Town". Bluegrass Today. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
^ Richards, Chris (2011-09-29). "What you should be listening to: David Heartbreak, Scott Holstein, Motion Sickness of Time Travel, Ricardo Villalobos, Wolves in the Throne Room - Click Track". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2012-08-19.
^ "Scott Holstein – Cold Coal Town « Bluegrass Unlimited". Bluegrassmusic.com. 2011-09-01. Retrieved 2012-08-19.
Scott Holstein found himself in the Spring of 2009 making a move to Nashville Tennessee. After years of road gigs and paying his dues along side the legends of the business, Holstein felt he had enough under his hat to focus on his own recording career. He was encouraged to make the move from Grammy winning producer and industry professinal Randy Kohrs.
The two met at a festival near Macon, Georgia while Kohr's was performing with Americana music icon Jim Lauderdale. Randy Kohrs was producing great bluegrass records back in Nashville and recording on hit sessions with Tom T. Hall, Dolly Parton, Dierks Bentley to the rebel outlaw Hank 111.
Holstein had an album to record and a sound all his own. Finally, he had found a producer with the same vision for the music as he had. Randy Kohrs would help put together Nashville's acoustic elite musicians to start the first original recordings and
" Cold Coal Town" was born. These recordings would mark the beginning of a legacy for Scott Holstein and his music.
On Aug. 17, 2010 at Kohrs' Slack Key Studio a session was scheduled. The roster would include Randy Kohrs (dobro), Clay Hess (lead guitar), Scott Vestal (banjo), Aaron Ramsey (mandolin), Tim Crouch (fiddle), Jay Weaver (bass) and Don Rigsby coming in for guest harmonies. It was an all-star cast of musicians that's played on countless hit recordings. Nashville studio engineer, Mike latterell tracked it all in one rainy night session and Holstein sure had some stories to tell!
Scott Holstein who grew up in the back hollows and hills of appalachia is no stranger to life in a "Cold Coal Town" and it mirrors in his music. Perhaps his lyrical visions come from family history. His grandfather after serving in World War 1 came home to find another war to fight-in the coal fields. In 1921," The Battle of Blair Mountain" found over 10,000 miners taking up arms against the clutches of tyrannic coal companies and their thug agents. The West Virginia State Police was then formed to aide in deterring the organized march. The miners continued on despite the opposition to continue the fight. They had all tied a red bandanna around their necks to show solidarity for the union-hence the true meaning of a " Redneck".
It was the only civil insurection since the Civil War . The " Battle for Blair" soon involved President Harding with his orders to drop bombs on those "rednecks". The federal troops were on their way,many of whom fought in the same foreign trenches with veteran miners but now are coming to disarm them. Holstein's grandfather hid his battle rifle among the many dead bodies that were hauled in the train cars and returned to the family hollow. The United Mine Workers of America (the union)would soon make it's way into West Virginia's southern coal fields!
Although much of history gets distorted over years, the battles still continue back in those hills. Songs like ""Black Water" featuring Scott Holstein, Randy Kohrs and Don Rigsby singing a haunting a'cappella tells the story of the Buffalo Creek disaster near Logan West Virginia. It's about a small coal mining community whose lives were stolen in 1972 by an unsafe coal sludge dam. Only four days before the devastating disaster a federal mine inspector and the coal company safety engineer had declared the dam to be in satisfactory condition. Due to the lack of company concern and cost-cutting engineering one hundred and twenty-five men, women and children lost their lives.
These mountain tragedies may be lost in history but the emotional, economical and environmental scars are relevant there still. Holstein paints these picture lyrically. The songs on the album " Cold Coal Town" are timeless pieces that reflect the true life of the region." Clinch Mountain Hills" featuring Scott Holstein and Don Rigsby is a tribute to the Stanley Brothers. The Bluegrass music legends Ralph and Carter Stanley were a huge influence in the development of Holstein's lonesome mountain style of singing. He penned the song while sitting by Carter's grave before performing at Ralph Stanley's annual
" Hills of Home" festival .
Songs like " The Spell" and " Walls of Stone" tell of love lost and the consequences of jealousy." Leavin'Charleston" highlights the original composer side of Holstein and the extraordinary musical talents of the band. From the truckers lament," Roll Coal Roll", West Virginia's soul anthem," Montani Semper Liberi", the family tribute instrumental,
" Holstein Waltz", to the brooding reality of "Ain't No Higher Ground", this " Boone County Blues" boy tells it like it is!" Cold Coal Town" is an audio ride through Coal Country.