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Band Members...

Jeremy Burns
bass, banjo, vocals

Ian Hoppe
guitar, vocals

Miggy Martinez

Ryan Morrison
bagpipes, whistle, vocals

Kevin Nicholson
fiddle, vocals

Matt Parrish
lead vocals, whistle

Band History...

Jasper Coal was founded in 2004 on St Patrick's Day. Originally called The Immigrants, founders Matt Parrish and Nathan Tucker performed sea shanties and other Irish drinking songs around their hometown of Birmingham, Alabama to earn drinking money.

In 2008, Jasper Coal recorded their first full-length album Immigrant Child. The album featured the eponymous song "Jasper Coal" as well as other Fenian favorites such as the crowd-favorite "Black and Tans" and the well-known drinking song "All For Me Grog".

Shortly after the album was released, Jasper Coal added bass and banjo player Jeremy Burns, a former member of Birmingham-based Irish pub band Shillelagh Law, who provided bass and background vocals Immigrant Child. The following year, Jasper Coal added Ian Hoppe to provide guitar and backing vocals.

With a new line-up, the band released their second full-length album 1000 Feet Closer to Hell. The album was recorded, mixed and mastered in 2009 at Area 47 Studios in Birmingham, Alabama. The album featured their first original song for which the album is named and a stylized cover of the rowdy drinking song "Boys From The County Hell" by Celtic legends The Pogues. 1000 Feet received a positive review from the Boston-based e-zine Skope Magazine and has sold copies as far as Europe, Asia and Australia.

In late 2009, Jasper Coal began performing regularly with the award-winning competition bagpipe and drum band the Ian Sturrock Memorial Pipe Band of Birmingham, Alabama. Along with the dancers of the Alabama Academy of Irish Dance, Jasper Coal shows developed into a virtual Irish cultural experience, performing 5- to 6-hour marathon shows complete with Irish dancers, bagpipes, and popular Irish drinkings songs.

In early 2010, the band added to their roster the widely-known traditional fiddle player Kevin Nicholson of the Delicate Cutters and formerly of Redhill. Later that same year, after numerous collaborations with professional bagpiper Ryan Morrison, Jasper Coal inducted him in as the sixth member to round out their line-up, playing pipes and whistle and providing backing vocals.

In 2012, Jasper Coal began work on their much-anticipated third studio album Drowning the Shamrock. During this time, the band added drummer Miggy Martinez to their line-up on drum kit, replacing the traditional Irish bodhrán played on the band's first two albums. The addition of the kit added drive and intensity to the music solidifying the band's style and identity.

The band's name was inspired by stories of Irish immigrants who worked in and around the coal mines in central Alabama in the mining town of Jasper. Jasper Coal's influences include Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly, The Pogues and the Tannahill Weavers.

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Photo credits: Molly Hand, Sterling Cross Photography, Rachel Craig Photography.