Jennifer's Heroes: Rockhouse Railway

By: Jennifer Black Email
By: Jennifer Black Email

June 3, 2010

"Rockhouse Railway" is looking to make a difference through their music. The Charlottesville band has ties to the West Virginia coal mining industry, and their song "Coal River" was written in recognition of all coal miners for the sacrifices they courageously make to support their families every day.

"When you think about the hard work that the coal miners do everyday, the backbreaking dirty work that most folks won't do, you don't think of a country diddy to me, you don't think of a bango song," said Rockhouse Railway lead singer, Tony Marbury.

With a megaphone to symbolize the foreman, Marbury said when the group chose to make a song about mining, the lyrics started pouring out (full lyrics here).

"We talk about the blood lines. That's what fuels the mine," said Marbury.

Images from April's deadly coal mine disaster in West Virginia hit home for many band members. The fathers and grandfathers of Marbury and guitarist Chris Dillon were miners.

"It really tugs at your heart strings. It's very emotional, especially when you see folks that are just so dag'on proud; they don't want help, they don't want any charity, they don't want pity, they take care of their own," said Marbury.

Which is why Rockhouse Railway hopes people will download their song for $1. All contributions received from the purchase of the song will go to the Southern Coal Providers Association (SCPA) Scholarship Fund for the children of coal mining families. The "Coal River" song can be downloaded from iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby and Rhapsody.

You can go to the band's MySpace page to listen to the song and a podcast recorded in Richmond. You can also find them on Facebook.

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