Coal Town Rounders

Coal Town Rounders

Scranton, Pennsylvania-based 
Bluegrass quartet

How it used to be release: 12 May, 2015

Our first full-length record, How It Used To Be, featuring eight brand new original tunes and two traditional numbers, is currently in production and is scheduled for availability on Tuesday, the 12th of May, 2015.  A great many thanks to Shane O’hara for co-producing and engineering the record, to Eric Ritter at The Windmill Agency for his mastering expertise, and to Tyler Pawelzik at Black Casket Tattoo for all of the illustrations. We’re excited to get this thing out there - check back here and follow us on our social media outlets for news and updates.

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Upcoming Shows


Latest News

taking it back to Folkadelphia

  • 25 March 2015

Despite the ceaseless and sometimes off-putting sounds of winter-time throat-clearing that occurred between takes from our previous trip to the monolithic studios of FolkadelphiaWXPN / World Cafe Live, Fred Knittel and company were kind enough to have us back in advance of our new release, How It Used To Be. We took I-476, the northeast extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and made pretty quick time overall. Matt didn’t even notice the horrifying slag-pile billboard that impertinently resides just past the Lehigh Tunnel. Boiling blood was averted - southbound anyway. 


making of… with pictures!

  • 25 March 2015

Back in 2014 we started working on a new record. This record was to heavily feature our own material with a traditional thrown in here or there for good measure. So, we wrote a bunch of tunes through festival season and by winter we had enough material for a full-length release. In December we teamed up once again with brother Shane O’Hara and went live to tape in Carla’s living room in bucolic Factoryville, Pennsylvania.  There were microphones pretty much everywhere, but somehow we missed getting on a mic on the pizza. The pizza was pretty good that day. Oh well…


New Website

  • 25 March 2015

After a great deal of ignoring the problem and hoping it would resolve itself, we finally decided to bite the bullet and get a new, actually functioning, and regularly update-able website built for all you internet types. It’s got all the stuff you’d expect - our calendar, a poignant news feed, provocative photos, streaming music, streaming video, and information out the wazoo. If not for the unnecessarily kind efforts of Kyle Ruane at Plain and Barley, we’d still be choking on the old mock-up from way back when we were all still wearing short pants. Take a poke around, enjoy all the stuff, and come back soon for more. Always more!



Historic Blairstown Theater, March 7, 2015

Video by Leah Marie Kirk

Historic Blairstown Theater, March 7, 2015.

Video by Leah Marie Kirk


Grafting their passion for Appalachian music and harmony singing to 21st century sensibilities, Northeast Pennsylvania-based quartet Coal Town Rounders occupy a space in time that is distinctly their own. With a foundational repertoire of bluegrass material you’d expect in a group twice their age, the band is poised to expand the reach and relevance of traditional music with their unique and hard-driving sound. Live performances around a single microphone showcase the intensity and dynamic interplay between each member and lend a timeless quality to an old-time approach.  

 Following the release of ‘Numero Uno,’ their 2013 EP of traditional bluegrass tunes, the band has been well received by audiences throughout its home state of Pennsylvania, the northeast, and stretches of the midwest. They have shared the stage with a range of nationally touring acts including Emmy Lou Harris, Carolina Chocolate Drops, The Lumineers, The Grascals, and The Roys, and with budding groups such as Cabinet, The Tillers, Wood & Wire, and The Barefoot Movement. 

 Coal Town Rounders are currently putting the finishing touches on their first full-length record of original material to be released in May of 2015. ‘How It Used To Be’ is a recording that attests to the enduring qualities which define the style known as bluegrass music. It is evident that the band has absorbed the traditions inherent to this idiosyncratic American art form, and they have melded the genre’s vocabulary with the unique musical influences each member brings to the fold. Filtered through the aggressive artistic ethos of post punk/DIY culture, it is a thoroughly modern record, imbued with studied bluegrass tradition.

Christopher Kearney

Guitar / Vocals

Jason Zarnowski

Upright Bass / Vocals

ian O’Hara

Banjo / Vocals

Matthew Hiller

Mandolin / Vocals

Contact Us

We’d love to hear from you!

Please send all booking / general inquiries to:

Follow us on FacebookInstagram, Twitter, and Bandsintown

We are very proud, and simultaneously humbled, to use equipment from Ear Trumpet Labs, Banks Mandolins, and Zachary Guy / Born Old Manufacturing Banjos.

Some helpful resources:

One Sheet

Tech Rider

Press Photo

Tour Poster

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