Spotlight on The Corduroy Road and No9 Coal

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 6, 2009

The corner of North Lee Street and East Kerr Street will be the place, and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night will be the time for a meet up between two like-minded bands.
One group is from that musical mecca, Athens, Ga. The other is based right here is Salisbury. But they have a lot in common, since both bands fuse bluegrass, folk and rock into an exciting musical mix.
No 9 Coal will take the stage first at Looking Glass Artist Collective, 405 N. Lee St., followed by The Corduroy Road. It’s an all ages show. Admission is $5 at the door. Advance tickets for $4 are available at Tastebuds Coffee and Tea, 106 N. Main St. and at the Looking Glass shop.
For more information, call 704-633-ARTS (2787) or visit
Since its inception by Drew Carman and Dylan Solise in early 2006, The Corduroy Road has molded bluegrass, Americana, folk rock, and old-time country with the rawest of live performances. The two, born and raised in the Central Kentucky bluegrass region where they learned their craft, now reside in the musical gem of the southeast: Athens, Ga.
With the addition of John Cable on drums and Elijah NeeSmith on bass, The Corduroy Road quickly gained a reputation in Athens as an especially promising band on the scene after sharing the stage with such notable bands including The Avett Brothers, Paleface, The Packway Handle Band, Ian Thomas, Langhorne Slim, Trampled by Turtles and more.
The Corduroy Road now has a local connection, since former Salisburian Cameron Thomas has become their manager. He is also a part-time member of the band, playing electric guitar. Local audiences may remember him as guitarist with The Delta Drift.
The band caught the ear of Mule Train Records’ founder Ryan Kelly, who quickly signed the band to the upstart label. In November 2008, The Corduroy Road entered the studio of local legend John Keane (Widespread Panic, REM, BR549, Uncle Tupelo) to record their Mule Train debut LP, “Love Is a War” released this summer and available at Tuesday’s performance.
Information and tunes are found at
No 9 Coal is comprised of three members, all from Salisbury: Tommy Farmer, Keith Earnhardt, and Eric Webster.
Farmer sings and plays a Martin D-16 acoustic guitar for No 9 Coal. He formerly played electric guitar for several area rock bands. His influences range from Jimi Hendrix to Tony Rice, David Byrne, Beck, to The Dillards and The Seldom Scene.
Several years ago, Farmer and Earnhardt started to collaborate on their original songs. This eventually lead to what is now No 9 Coal.
Earnhardt is the former lead guitarist for Denial, an early 90’s thrash metal band signed with Colossal Records. He has traded in his electrics for a five-string banjo. When playing with No 9 Coal, John Hartford, Henry Mancini, and Newgrass Revival inspire Keith most.
Eric Webster performs upright bass with the band, playing a 1941 Kay S-8 that he restored.
He was exposed to bluegrass at young age also plays in Dry Run. In addition to bass, he plays dobro and mandolin. Among Eric’s influences are Pavement, Punch Bros. and Wilco. He also played and toured with Mercury Dime (Yep Roc).
You can check the trio out at