About Aaron Smith and the Coal Biters

Folk Music from the Ozarks

The music of Aaron Smith and the Coal Biters is deeply rooted in the Arkansas Ozarks, telling tales of the Ozark hills and Buffalo River, singing stories of local legends and pioneers. In 2013, Aaron met percussionist and vocalist Ryan Gentry, and a year later they were joined by multi-instrumentalist George Holcomb to become Aaron Smith and the Coal Biters.

These three generations of seasoned performers combine forces on guitar, banjo, upright bass, mandolin, tambourines, and even washboards and clarinet. Aaron’s skilled guitar and banjo picking is reminiscent of John Prine, John Hartford, and David Wilcox, and with the Coal Biters behind him, their repertoire ranges from pensive, emotive ballads to southern roots grooves recalling The Steel Wheels. With timeless, singable melodies and foot-tapping bass and percussion, thoughtful lyrics are supported with a satisfying and entertaining musicality.

The release of Aaron Smith and the Coal Biter’s debut album, The Way the World Turns, was sponsored by the Boone County Library at the Lyric Theater in 2015. Their latest release, The Legend of Sam Davis, is a coffee-table compendium of songs, stories, artwork, maps and family photos telling stories and legends of Newton County Arkansas.

Aaron’s songcraft has earned him recognition as a winner in the internationally renowned New Folk songwriting competition at the Kerrville Folk Festival and the BMG Songwriter Showcase at the Power of Music Festival. He was also honored play at Americanafest in London in early 2020 with The House of Songs.