New Market Songwriter’s ‘Coal Train’ Attracts National Attention
When Scott Arnold of New Market, Tennessee, saw 12-year-old Kaitlyn Baker perform at a festival in Virginia eight years ago, he never imagined that one day he would write a song with her that would be recognized by the Academy of Country Music (ACM). However, that is precisely what has happened with “Coal Train,” a bluesy country song about a young man who leaves home in search of a better life. (See the video here: https://youtu.be/D3mLivBoSnM
“Coal Train” was recently featured in the Official 2015 ACM Awards ZinePak, a magazine and 2-CD compilation of songs by country superstars and “rising stars.” That project debuted at #4 on Billboard’s Country Music Charts and did so well that Arnold and Baker have decided to release “Coal Train” as a single.
“It’s definitely an honor and a blessing to have a song picked by ZinePak and the ACM for their project,” said Arnold, who is Baker’s manager and producer.
Arnold was formerly with the band The Southern Wings, which later was renamed Bulls Gap, after the nearby town where he lived at the time. That band toured nationally and released several records in the 1990s. Nowadays, Arnold spends most of his time working with Baker on an album that is expected to be released soon.
“With age, she has become a better entertainer and a better songwriter,” Arnold said. “We were working in my home studio one day, when we heard a train whistle. That’s what gave us the idea for ‘Coal Train,’ but as we started writing it, we realized how it could relate to what’s been going on with the coal industry in Kaitlyn’s hometown.”
“Southwestern Virginia is only producing about half the amount of coal it did 10 years ago,” Baker said. “The economic impact has been devastating. A lot of people have lost their jobs. For some people, that means moving away to find work.”
Baker’s other single, “Burn,” which Arnold also co-wrote, is also available on iTunes and is receiving airplay on a growing number of radio stations. Soon, Baker is set to appear soon on the nationally syndicated public television concert series “Song of the Mountains,” along with Arnold and the rest of her band. An air date has not been announced.