The Coal Porters are a British-American bluegrass band headquartered in London and led by Sid Griffin (mandolin, autoharp, harmonica and vocals) and Neil Robert Herd (guitar and vocals) The other members are Carly Frey (fiddle, vocals), John Breese (banjo, vocals), and Andrew Stafford (bass, vocals). Griffin formed the group in Los Angeles in 1989 and then reorganized the band after moving to London.[not in citation given] Griffin was a founding member of The Long Ryders, and the author of Shelter From The Storm: Bob Dylan''s Rolling Thunder Years, Million Dollar Bash: Bob Dylan, The Band and The Basement Tapes, co-author of Bluegrass Guitar: Know the Players, Play the Music and Gram Parsons Ô A Music Biography. He has contributed reviews and feature articles to Mojo, Q, The Guardian and appears every six weeks on BBC Radio 2 to discuss cultural changes on the Mark Radcliffe-Stuart Maconie Show. Neil Robert Herd, in addition to his career as a musician, has performed as a comedian, and finished second to Stewart Lee as the Best New Stand-Up Comedian at the Hackney Comedy Awards Festival in 1992. He has also promoted many British comedy, film and music festivals.