The son of four generations of coal miners, Erik grew up on the banks of the Monongahela River in West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania. He came of age on punk rock but eventually discovered that he could never truly escape the gravitational pull of his Appalachian roots. From the on-ramp of The Blasters, X, The Beat Farmers, and Mojo Nixon, he wandered upstream along the Hillbilly Highway until he unearthed some old cassettes by Johnny Cash and George Jones—artists he’d listened to as a kid in the cab of his Uncle Jack’s 18-wheeler.
Erik (aka Cletus McCoy) is also the frontman of The Surreal McCoys, a Cowpunk Americana band that—boosted by airplay of its single “Whole Lotta Folsom” on SiriusXM’s Outlaw Country and other outlets—enjoys 50K monthly listeners and has collected over 1.5 million spins on Spotify.
On his first solo album, Appalachian Gothic, Erik takes a nostalgic deep dive into the Appalachia of his youth while wrestling with the hard modern realities of a region that’s been left behind by so many, but stubbornly continues to kick against the pricks.