Morgantown, WV (WOAY) – Erik Huey, aka Cletus McCoy, co-founder of The Surreal McCoys, has released his debut solo album, “Appalachian Gothic,” via Appalachian AF/CEN/The Orchard.
The McCoys, a cowpunk, outlaw country outfit known for their originals and creative mashups such as “Whole Lotta Folsom”.
However, Huey found his inspiration close to home for the songs and stories on his debut album, mining his own history as a descendant of four generations of West Virginia coal miners.
“Appalachian Gothic” explores darker themes and raw subject matter such as the legacy of coal mining and the ravages of the opioid crisis in songs like “The Devil is Here in These Hills,” “Dear Dad,” “The Appalachian Blues,” and “The Battle of Uniontown,”
The album also taps into a defiant streak of optimism on twangy upbeat rockers like “Winona” and the pro-union anthem “Yours in the Struggle.”
“This record is a love letter to Appalachia,” Huey says.
“Like so many West Virginians, I had to eventually leave the place where I grew up. As the locals say, I had to ‘get out to get ahead,’ which created a lasting sense of exile. So this album is a homecoming of sorts. It’s a realization that although I spent my life tunneling out, those rugged hills kept calling me home.”