The Bloomington, IN-based Early Day Miners are a self-described "musical cooperative." The group's core members are Daniel Burton, Rory Leitch (both formerly of Ativin), and Joseph Brumley, but the trio has enlisted a revolving cast of friends for recordings and live performances.
Early Day Miners spin American rural music into richly cinematic, experimental textures that contain a prominent streak of melancholy (and some slowcore tendencies). The combo's first release was the seven-song, 49-minute Placer Found, which emerged in 2000 on Western Vinyl. The 2002 LP Let Us Garlands Bring, on Secretly Canadian Records, boasted richer and more fleshed-out landscapes to underpin the vocals of key member Burton. Early Day Miners continued on with 2003's Jefferson at Rest and 2005's All Harm Ends Here on Secretly Canadian. The next year, the six-song Offshore, which was originally conceived to be a part of Let Us Garlands Bring and featured the production work of Tortoise's John McEntire, was released, followed in 2009 by the full-length The Treatment. In May 2010 Burton noted on the Early Day Miners website that the band's Wikipedia page said the group had broken up; Burton confirmed that some shows had been canceled due to finances and lamented the "soul sucking" aspects of the music business, but seemed to sidestep somewhat the issue of whether Early Day Miners had disbanded for good. "In other news, British Petroleum is doing a great job of destroying the world," Burton continued. "Or at least the part of it that matters most to me." ~ Erik Hage