Cole Chaney gathered a following on social media through the height of the pandemic. Then, he caught the attention of independent country music fans everywhere with his 2021 debut album Mercy. That album introduced thousands of new listeners to the young Catlettsburg, Kentucky native. Cole’s powerful voice and the distinctly Appalachian sound of his music caught our ears. His songwriting, though, caught our hearts. Through his songs, he shares the stories of love, loss, poverty, joy, and pain. Listening to Mercy was like getting to know the man behind the songs on a personal level. More than anything, it left fans everywhere craving more.
Today, Chaney gave fans what they’ve been wanting. He teamed up with the good folks at OurVinyl to release a new four-song EP. You can listen to Cole Chaney: OurVinyl Sessions on your streaming platform of choice right now. Additionally, OurVinyl released Cole’s full performance in a 20-minute video. Check it out below.
A Closer Look at Cole Chaney’s OurVinyl EP
Unlike Mercy, this EP sees Cole Chaney without a backing band. It’s just him and his acoustic guitar. Honestly, this might be the best way to hear any of his music. While the mandolin and fiddle add layers to his other recordings, stripping the extraneous instruments away allows Chaney to shine.
Throughout the four-song set, Cole Chaney showcases his top-shelf songwriting, emotive vocal delivery, and some damn fine guitar playing. Chaney’s fans are going to get exactly what they want from this collection. These songs of love, longing, hard work, and pain all feature his bluegrass-tinged guitar style and his instantly-recognizable vocal delivery. Let’s take a closer look at two of my favorites from the EP.
Before the pandemic shut things down, Chaney played a single show with the band he had put together. Cole Chaney and the Candy Holly Rhythm played country and alternative rock. They covered songs from bands like Alice in Chains and Stone Temple Pilots. His original intention was to lean into alt-rock and grunge. I heard strains of that in this song. The guitar work, to me, sounds like if the guys from Stone Temple Pilots grew up in Appalachia. Additionally, Chaney’s vocals lean a little more alt-rock than high lonesome here and I’m here for it.
In this song, Cole Chaney sings about his dad working long, hard hours to provide for his family. You can hear the appreciation and admiration in his voice. Additionally, there’s some great writing here. Lines like “Pa worked the steel mill after his days in the mines. / Carryin’ my sister, mother, and me on shoulders made of granite and lime,” and “He took every shift that he could wrap his hands around / ‘Cause his way to keep the wolves away was to cut their tongues out before they howl,” really showcase Chaney’s poetic storytelling.
Do yourself a favor and listen to this one as soon as possible.