In Waynesburg, working class anger bubbles up at coal miners rally
By Daniel Moore / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Carried by an Americana folk chord progression on acoustic guitar, musician Tom Breiding’s message was as poignant as any rallying cry issued from the podium at the Greene County Fairgrounds on Friday.
“Promises made, promises broken,” Mr. Breiding crooned over a D-chord. “Alpha they promised, Alpha they lied,” calling out bankrupt coal company Alpha Natural Resources, the owner of two mines in the county that this week sought to break its contract with workers so it can restructure its finances.
In multiple verses, he named others: Peabody Energy, Patriot Coal, Murray Energy. Clad uniformly in United Mine Workers of America camouflage, more than 5,000 supporters of the Appalachian coal industry whooped and hollered.
The intermission of sorts came about halfway through a four-hour Solidarity Day celebration in which UMWA members marched and then packed into the agricultural building at the fairgrounds. The union had organized buses from West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky to bring members to Waynesburg, the center of a region with deep ties to coal.
(Read the rest of the story at link above)
New ReleasesBy Margaret Welsh
River, Rails or Road
At 18 tracks, River, Rails or Road, Tom Breiding’s 13th release, is an epic offering. Inspired by the struggles of coal miners in his home state of West Virginia, this record moves easily along despite its length and showcases some of the best traditional folk songwriting of the Pittsburgh transplant’s career. Where his past releases have occasionally sidestepped into singer-songwriter schlock, River, Rails or Road finds Breiding doing God’s work. As the musician in residence for the United Mine Workers of America, Breiding has played some of these songs at rallies across the country, and his musical storytelling has been a powerful force in helping retired coal miners win pension and health benefits. In this cynical age, it’s a heartening reminder that protest music still has power.
Notre Dame University, Higgins Labor Studies Dept.
Tom Breiding is local featured artist on WYEP Pittsburgh 91.3
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Pittsburgh Tribune Review
WV native Tom Breiding hopes to light fire under coal miners' plight
The art of the song is at the heart of new BurghSong Series:
Frontera Records Release "Miners' Angel"
Tom's song The Bullmoose Special chosen for this tribute to Mother Jones featuring the likes of Billy Bragg, Steve Earle, Robert Earle Keene, Gretchen Peters, Si Kahn, and many others.
Tom Breiding's Tele Award Winning "Steeltown, Coalfields, and the Unbroken Circle" airs on PCN television
On Nov. 11, the Pennsylvania Cable Network premiered Tom's program Steeltown, Coalfields, and the Unbroken Circle for Humanities on the Road, the PA Humanities television series. The show was recorded at the Pump House, on the former site of Homestead Steel. Rivers of Steel, a local non-profit preservation group hosted the event. For a preview, visit: http://www.humanitiesontheroad.org/home/steeltowns-coalfields-and-the-unbroken-circle-premieres-this.html
For more about the series from the Pennsylvania Humanites Council: http://www.pahumanities.org/
PHC's New Arts & Culture Television Show
Pennsylvania Humanities Council and Pennsylvania Cable Network have joined forces to present Humanities on the Road, a new arts and culture-themed television show that takes a fascinating look at artists, scholars and storytellers from across the state. Hosted by award-winning journalist Tracey Matisak, the series features talent from PHC's speakers bureau.
Filmed in front of live audiences at cultural venues across Pennsylvania and broadcast on PCN-TV (the Commonwealth's version of C-Span), Humanities on the Road is available to 3.3 million households statewide.
Tom Breiding/AmeriSon Studio provide original audio track for award-winning Televison commercial
Helping Our Heroes, a public service announcement featuring former Steeler Rocky Bleier and host Michael Moreland, won a National Tele Award in 2010. Tom wrote and produced the music portion of this VA Healthcare VISN4 television commercial . The commercial was created by Cortron Media in Pittsburgh, PA, and aired in more than 13 states.
The commercial was directed and edited by Don Wright. Visit Don, Lou Cordera and Doug Malcolm at Cortron's web page: http://www.cortronmedia.com/