On April 5 an explosion at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch coal mine at Montcoal in Raleigh County, W.Va., killed 29 miners and injured two others. The tragedy marked the nation’s worst mining disaster in 40 years since a 1970 explosion killed 38 people in Hyden, Ky.

The download and disaster fund donation is a perfect pairing because “Appalachian Soul” pays homage to miners and mining communities. The song hails from Great American Taxi’s new album, Reckless Habits, which was released in March.

The band sent over the track to radio stations with the understanding that the stations would direct listeners to Great American Taxi’s site. The site includes a free download of “Appalachian Soul” along with a link to West Virginia Council of Churches’ website. The council is collecting donations for the Montcoal Mining Disaster Fund.

“Great American Taxi sends our thoughts out to the families and communities effected by the mining disaster at the upper big branch mine,” frontman Vince Herman said.

“We hope that their unconquerable Appalachian spirit and families can help them navigate these difficult times. The country and the world share in their grief. We need coal. We need our miners to be safe. We need understanding on all sides of this contentious issue of our national energy policy. We would like to make Taxis’ tribute to that Appalachian spirit available as a download here and suggest a donation to the WV council of churches to assist the families of our fallen brothers. Let’s all come together and honor the families who have paid that ultimate price for our energy needs and hope that this is the last such disaster we must face.”

Great American Taxi is currently touring the U.S., with a show tonight at 123 Pleasant St. in Morgantown, W.Va., and dates booked through an Aug. 22 performance at Bohemian Nights At New West Fest in Fort Collins, Colo.
Click here for Great American Taxi’s website.

Click here to make a donation through the West Virginia Council of Churches’ website.