Coal Town Reunion
Coal Town Reunion’s approachable Jayhawk’s-like delivery is so solid and their choruses so instantly catchy that they almost risk covering up the great depth and storytelling of their songs. “Vaquero,” the opening track on Coal Town Reunion’s self-titled EP is a beautiful and heartfelt homage to John-Paul Maxfield’s father. The old Wyoming cowboy battled Alzheimer’s and Maxfield wrote the song to help himself come to terms with watching his father fade away. He played the song at his father’s funeral in May as his casket was rolled out of the church. But all those deep sighs aside, the track has such a sing-songy chorus that it obscures the sadness of the loss. “Blood & Coal” follows suit with an immediately familiar chorus that almost masks the harrowing tale of the Ludlow Massacre being referenced in the song. Even on the more obviously melancholy “Sorry I’m Not Sorry,” the group gushes an infectiously hopeful vibe — all cloaked in sublime jangly Americana packaging.