Jasper Coal (originally "The Immigrants") was founded by Matt Parish (main vox/tin whistle) and Nathan Tucker(bodhran) in March of 2004. Having both been raised in Irish-American households the two decided to make a little drinking money for St. Patrick's Day playing at a tiny pub on the south-side of Birmingham, Alabama. The two continued to play together gaining and losing a plethora of local musicians over the following two years.
In 2006 the band formally changed their name to Jasper Coal, an homage to the Irish coal miners of north Alabama in the mid to late 19th century. They also released their first LP "Immigrant Child" and gained bass/bouzouki/banjo player extraordinaire Jeremy Burns having returned to Irish music after playing for many years in the local Irish group Shillelagh Law.
A year later the band added Ian Hoppe, formerly of local death-metal act Entropy, on the Guitar.
As a four piece, "1000 Feet Closer to Hell" was recorded, mixed and mastered by Everything Burns Productions LLC in Birmingham, Alabama. The album received a positive review from the Boston based e-zine Skope Magazine, available at http://skopemag.com/2010/03/29/jasper-coal-1000-feet-closer-to-hell. It was also around this time that Jasper Coal was officially endorsed by Guinness.
Soon after this release Kevin Nicholson, formerly of Redhill, The Craicers, and a widely known traditional fiddle player, came on board; followed closely by esteemed Birmingham bagpiper Ryan Morrison, pipe major of The Ian Sturrock Memorial Pipe Band.
With the newly added members, the six-piece plans on hitting the recording studio in the next few months to lay down their next release. They play regular gigs accompanied by the Ian Sturrock Memorial Pipe Band and the Alabama Academy of Irish Dance in Alabama and surrounding regions and continue to grow their fan base both locally and internationally. Recently they have received kudos from as far away as Australia, France and the battlefields of the middle east.