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Coal Mountain Band builds following
Playing showcase in Duluth
The Coal Mountain Band will be performing at 7 p.m. June 14 at Wild Bills in Duluth. - photo by For the FCN

Want to see the band?

* Free passes for the group’s 7 p.m. June 14 performance at Wild Bill’s, 2075 Market St. in Duluth are available by contacting Sandy Hoge, the group’s manager, at (678) 978-1161 or

* More information about the show can be found online at

While they all have day jobs, their weekends and many evenings are spent doing what they’re passionate about — creating and performing quality country music.

“We all have full-times jobs, but we spend at least another 12 hours a week working together in the band,” said Alex Estes, a 2005 graduate of Forsyth Central High School. “So it’s basically a part-time job for all of us.”

Estes is one of the members of Coal Mountain Band.

The local group — with three members from Forsyth, one from Dawsonville and two from Dahlonega — came together about a year ago through a mutual love of country music, but their hours of dedication seem to be paying off.

The band recently has been booking some big gigs and earning accolades.

The band, which the members define as primarily “modern country with a little bluegrass,” recently was nominated for band of the year awards from Georgia-Country and Country Atlanta, two web-based organizations that promote Georgia-based country, bluegrass and Southern Gospel groups.

Lead singer Shawn Hall, a 1995 Central graduate, said he and his bandmates were honored by the nominations.

“It means a lot just because of the short amount of time that we’ve been out there playing,” Hall said. “A lot of the bands that we’re playing [shows] with have been established a lot longer than we have.”

Among those shows was one at Zac Brown’s Southern Ground bar in Senoia, and the band will travel to Mississippi at end of this week for several shows there.

In addition, Coal Mountain is one of five Georgia bands chosen to perform for Average Joe’s Entertainment, a record label owned by country musician Colt Ford, during an artist showcase June 14 at Wild Bill’s in Duluth.

Open to the public, Coal Mountain Band is hoping for a large turnout that night from current and potential new fans.

“We need all the support we can get because that could really open a lot of doors for us,” Hall said.

Added lead guitarist Jeremy Satterfield, a 2005 Lumpkin County High graduate: “I think that’s definitely going to be the show that shows us how big and strong our fan base has become.”

The group’s manager, Sandy Hoge, added that high numbers at Wild Bill’s can boost any area country band’s opportunities.

“The president of Georgia-Country said if we could bring in 500 people, we could play anywhere in Atlanta. It will go very far for us and break a lot of the barriers you have to cross.”

That show likely will be quite a departure from Coal Mountain’s first concert last August.

“It was all self-promotion, a self-built concert,” Hall said. “It was a field party in the hills of Lumpkin County. We set everything up ourselves, we build the stage ourselves, did everything for it ourselves.”

Jordan Ligon, a 2006 Lumpkin graduate who sings background vocals, does most of the writing for the group.

Hall said that while the band is primarily country, listeners can “hear influences from pretty much all genres,” he said. “You can hear rock, modern country, old country, Southern rock, so there’s a lot of stuff going in what we do.

“But it’s cool. It makes it different.”

The band hopes to release its debut album soon.

“We have six completed singles that we’ve recorded and we’re hoping to have our full-length album done by the end of the summer,” Satterfield said.

He and all the Coal Mountain musicians — which also include Tommy Chadwick, a West Forsyth High grad, on rhythm guitar and banjo; and Ryan Cseay, a Dawson County High graduate, on drums — are thrilled with the musical doors that have opened for them.

“It makes us happy because we feel like we’re doing the right thing with the direction we’re headed and the music we’re playing,” he said. “All the hard work we’re putting in, we feel like it’s really starting to pay off.”