Hard Coal Boys 2015
Amber Finsel, Josh Finsel, Randy Brendle, Levi Brendle, Woody Wolfe, and Van Wagner

"Steeped in old timey music!"

Deez here boys is steeped, and I mean steeped with
old timey sauces and seasonings."

spoken by Old Man Larkin from Shmuts-dike Valley

Music from the Pennsylvania hard coal region. The Hard Coal Boys blend foot-stompin' bluegrass with gentle mountain ballads to create a live show you'll never forget. All of the members of the band have either worked underground, or have family who worked in the mines. They are a one of a kind group of talented and authentic musicians.

(August 11th, 2001...independent coal miners picinic...Hegins PA)

Band biograpghy:


Amber is the engine that keeps the steadiest beat. The Hard Coal Boys used to struggle with tempo until Amber joined the band. In addition to being an awesome base player it is rumored that Amber's hat once belonged to 15th US president James Buchanan.


Josh can pick. Josh can sing. But did you know Josh can cook? He also has a unique banjo style that can only be found in the PA coal region (and south west Nebraska). He has strange black electrodes glued to his banjo that rumor has it make time travel possible.

Randy is the fiddlinest, dancinest, and singinist man in the world. It is rumored that he enjoys challenging animals to wrestling matches. He leads the coal region with a record of 4 out 5 against black bears. He is the son of life-long iron ore miner, Winfield Brendle. Winfield worked over 20 years in the Grace Iron Mines for Bethlehem Steel. Randy has the ruff, course hands of an iron miner, yet he glides on his fiddle like liquid velvet. Randy has performed all over the country, From the Arizona grand canyon, to Jerseytown PA, and north to Alaska. Randy is a native of Mohnton Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania dutch call Randy “Hinder-shitz”…which means ‘man who can make the turtles dance.’  Randy stays in touch with the group and seems to like the band more.


Levy owns beards. Of all the beards ever grown by the band, Levy's beard commands the most respect. He is one of the few musicians that when referring to his "ax" is actually talking about a tool he uses to chop wood. All round logs tremble is his presence as it is rumors that he can hew a log square using nothing but a bowling ball and an 8 track tape from Seals and Croft. He keeps the details of the method a secret.


Woody has 1 too many letters from having the coolest name ever. He is currently on acoustic probation for plugging his guitar into a direct input at a recent concert. He is undergoing acoustic conditioning and is expected to make a full recovery.

Van eats coal for breakfast. His metabolism is fueled by hyrdo carbons. Instead of a liver he has a shaker grate to separate out clinkers from the slate in the coal. He dances a gentle waltz now and then and can eat a T-bone steak without using his face. His neck leather is impressive. He knows several guitar chords including (but not limited to) G, C, and D.

Matt is hairy.  Matt's family worked in the iron industry of Danville PA for many years.  Iron ore, limestone, and HARD COAL!   Matt plays just about anything with strings (including shoes).  Matt is the creative genius in the group.

RJ (AKA Rahalio, Roger, Hodge, Midget) comes from good stock.  His family worked underground in the ore mines of Danville PA.  HE was born with only one foot but he can still dance like a champ.  RJ brings some latin
American flavor to the band.

Robb is the Hard Coal Boys living link to the past. His mothers lineage go directly to a convicted Molly Maguire from the Anthracite region. “Swingin’ Pete”, as he was referred to after his fate with the gallows, was an Irish miner who got caught up in the violence that plagued Pennsylvania’s early mining era. Robb has performed all over the United States. A native of Danville PA, Robb now lives in Winchester Virginia. Folks around Winchester claim Robb has caught a 25 inch Rainbow Trout with a guitar string.

Concert dates:

***THIS JUST IN! The Hard Coal Boys are planning a reunion concert for Danville Heritage Festival! July 18, 2015***