Barely out of his teens and just starting out a career in Nashville music industry, singer and guitar player Dave Coleman started the Coal Men with drummer Dave Ray because, as he humbly recalls, “I had all these songs and nobody else was gonna sing ’em.” Close to two decades-and countless side projects, records labels, collaborations and major life events- later, the roots-rock outfit (who counts John Prine and Todd Snider among their mentors) is still going strong. Now officially a trio thanks to the addition of bassist Paul Slivka, the guys just released Pushed to the Side on Vaskaleedez Records, an album imbued with Southern Gothic themes and tales of loners, lovers and those on the fringes of society.
Today, Elmore is excited to be premiering the music video for “Depreciate,” a song from the band’s recent release that explores the struggle of reevaluating how your roles in life change over the years. Coleman says of the track, “I’ve had some incredible role models in my life that have taught me to keep moving and stay dedicated to the things you love. Growing old gracefully is this incredible challenge we all face. I hope I can weather my age and have music I’m proud of when I’m set out in the junkyard. I can honestly say I’m doing my best with my good friends Dave Ray and Paul.” Coleman’s silky baritone- bolstered by Ray’s subtle harmonies- conveys the world weary sweetness of the song, that hints at wistfulness for lost youth, but also looks forward to the next chapter.
The video is split into two parts; in the primary setting of the video, the trio performs in the balcony of a gorgeous church, colored in deep tones with a large, wooden organ in the background. Coleman explains that they picked the church because of its history and long lasting impact. “My wife and I are members at Downtown Presbyterian Church,” he tells Elmore. “The building, with its Egyptian revivalist architecture, has survived over 160 years in Nashville. It was a Civil War Union hospital for a time, and has had two Presidents (Jackson and Polk) as members. It’s still doing incredible work each week helping homeless and urban poor with meals, IDs and birth certificates. Bob Delevante filmed the band in the balcony facing down into the sanctuary and its 3D illusion walls. They make the room appear to go on forever.”
In other moments, spliced in between the performance, you get the perspective of riding in a fast car along a city strip, lit up at night. The far off flash of lights rushing by hints at the simple, glinting nostalgia of the track, and the uncertainty of the future. The car is bass player Paul Slivka’s 1957 Chevy Belair, and it plays an important role as a metaphor for the band’s ongoing career. “It’s been clocking miles since the birth of rock ‘n roll,” Coleman says. “We are still at it as a band after 17 years and are making (what I hope) is honest, genuine, roots rock and country music. Luck and hard work will keep us together for years to come.”
Connect with the Coal Men via their website and watch the video for “Depreciate” below.