The Coal Porters is the brainchild of BBC Radio show host, author and mandolin player Sid Griffin and sound recording engineer and guitarist Neal Robert Herd. Griffin is best known as an author, having penned several books about the careers of Gram Parsons and Bob Dylan. He was a founding member of the Long Ryders, a supergroup of multi-instrumentalists that pioneered alt-country in the early '80s. Herd has a long background in music, working as a recording engineer in movies and television as well as acting as a hired gun for many famous musicians.
The band assembled in 1998 to explore the folk and rock music they loved in an acoustic bluegrass format. The Coal Porters have had many lineup changes over the years but have not suffered from a loss of consistency or quality. Their explosive live shows combine elements of classic Parsons and Dylan with the traditional bluegrass of Griffin’s home state of Kentucky.