Erik Huey, aka Cletus McCoy, co-founder of The Surreal McCoys, released his debut solo
album, Appalachian Gothic, on January 20, 2023 via The Orchard/CEN/AppalachianAF.
While the McCoys were a cowpunk, outlaw country outfit known for their originals and creative mash-ups such “Whole Lotta Folsom,” Huey dug closer to home for the songs and stories on his debut, mining his own history— he’s descended from four generations of West Virginia coal miners — for the album.
The album was recorded at Cowboy Technical Studios in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and produced by Eric “Roscoe” Ambel, the legendary Rock ‘n’ Roll guitarist (Joan Jett, Del-Lords, Steve Earle & The Dukes) and producer (Bottle Rockets, Jimbo Mathus, Yayhoos, Sarah Borges). The Surreal McCoys, a Cowpunk Americana band
that—boosted by airplay on SiriusXM’s Outlaw Country and other outlets –cracked the Top 50 on the Americana Album Charts and currently enjoys over 35K monthly listeners on Spotify, where it is North of 2
Huey grew up in West Virginia in the heart of coal country. Appalachian Gothic finds Huey taking a nostalgic deep dive into the Appalachia of his WV youth while wrestling with the contemporary realities of a hardscrabble region that’s been left behind in many ways.
While the album explores darker themes and raw subject matter such as the legacy of coal mining and the ravages of the opioid crisis on songs like “The Devil is Here in These Hills,” “Dear Dad,” “The Appalachian Blues,” and “The Battle of Uniontown,” it also taps into a defiant streak of optimism on twangy upbeat rockers like “Winona” and the pro-union anthem “Yours in the Struggle,” about which SiriusXM Outlaw Country’s Mojo Nixon states, “Erik and Roscoe subvert ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads’ into a union organizing song! Genius!!”
Along with DC area CD release shows, Erik will be touring Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi in Early April, with additional dates to follow.
Stream the album below;