Them old multicultural blues

The Coal Porters
The Coal Porters

DON’T let the name fool you.

The Coal Porters may bring to mind a certain American composer, and a handful of jaunty musical numbers – but this band of Los Angeles-turned-Londoners have a touch of the deep south about them.

The group claim to the the world’s first alt-bluegrass act, using old themes and melodies from the genre and updating them, all the while moving away from electrics and relying on a purely acoustic sound.

The result is a wide and varied blend of fiddle, mandolin, banjo, acoustic guitar and doghouse bass, matched up with three-part harmonies – and with successful tours in the UK, Europe and America, it seems to be working.

The Coal Porters have also played Glastonbury, among other festival slots, proving something of a wide fan base.

Their most recent and fourth album, Durango, was produced by Ed Stasium – a former colleague of Phil Spector and producer for acts like Belinda Carlisle and the Ramones – and recorded entirely in Colorado (in a town of the same name).

But the line-up remains eclectic, with Kentuckian frontman Sid Griffin leading one Scot, one Canadian, and two Englishmen.

Saturday marks their only Glasgow date of the tour – so if you’re a fan, or intrigued by such a curious combination of backgrounds and sounds, it may be one for the calendar.

n The Coal Porters play Woodend bowling and tennis club on May 19. Doors 8pm, tickets £10 from 07944354459 or soundsinthesuburbs@hotmail.co.uk.