First 25 Fans to Purchase Physical CD Today, Get A Free Gift
The Larry Stephenson Band is proud to announce today’s new release of PULL YOUR SAVIOR IN on Whysper Dream Music. The album is available for digital sale at iTunes, Amazon,and CD Baby. Physical copies include a special Bonus Track and can be purchased at larrystephensonband.com. In honor of the band’s 25th Anniversary, the first 25 fans to purchase the album today at the band’s website will receive a special gift.
“The title song, Pull Your Savior In, is distinctly Bluegrass with a gospel message. Fast and foot tapping arrangement with Mandolin and Banjo accents. A river of country influence runs in Come To Jesus Moment, asking for forgiveness and atonement, all self-inflicted. Overall the selections are traditional in feel and intention, a celebration marked by classic gospel blessings,” said Digital Journal in a recent album review.
PULL YOUR SAVIOR IN was produced by Ben Surratt and Larry Stephenson and includes the talents of Larry Stephenson, Kenny Ingram, Colby Laney, Danny Stewart with special guests Jimmy Fortune, Aubrey Haynie, David Parmley, and Dale Perry.
Gospel, Bluegrass, and Country music fans will certainly enjoy the songs written by Donna Ulisse & Rick Stanley, Larry Stephenson and more, plus traditional favorites by the Louvin Brothers, Earl Scruggs, and Randall Hylton.
Tags: bluegrass, Earl Scruggs, Larry Stephenson Band, Pull Your Savior In, Southern Gospel News
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By Miles Pike
Over my years of road ministry I’ve worked with many popular artists and not very many have struck me as just good ole folks. Being a country boy myself, I love being able to sit down and talk with fellow singers about the Lord, music, hobbies, and just feel at home with them, like they are a long lost relative. Mark Bishop is one of those types of people. To know him is to love him and his sincerity shines out in his music, his concerts, and his Christian life toward others.
Mark is a longtime fixture in Southern Gospel music and one of the most successful. I could list many accolades that the fans and industry have bestowed upon him through his years with The Bishops and now as a soloist, but you can go to his website and read his bio about that. I want you to have a minute to get to know the man behind the mic. I was honored to have a few minutes to have an interview with him recently and you can listen in below…
Miles: I am a big fan of your music and songwriting, but like many of those familiar with the Southern Gospel field, I first knew you with your family trio, The Bishops. I spent many an evening as a teenager sitting on the front row when the Bishops would come to town. Let us know how the family is doing and if you get together to sing occasionally.
Mark: Thanks Miles for the compliment. I’m glad that you enjoyed our music. We had a lot of fun when the group was out traveling; of course it was a lot of work too and many, many days away from our families. These days, my dad is pastoring a little country church here in east-central Kentucky and that’s where my family goes. Mostly my wife and daughters go because I am usually out singing somewhere. My brother Kenny works in the state capitol, involved in politics. He has always enjoyed that atmosphere. After the group disbanded in 2001, I kept our three-day festival in Berea, KY going and for a few years we would get together and sing for that, but we haven’t sung together now for a few years. Everyone has just gone their own direction.
Miles: I’m sure you’ve written hundreds of songs since you began your musical journey. What are three of your favorites and why? And what song do you wish you would have written?
Mark: That’s always a tough one because I like them all depending on the mood that life and circumstances have put me in. A song to me is really just a snapshot of what the songwriter was experiencing at that moment of their life. But it’s true that some songs seem to become more timeless. Favorites? I guess I have always enjoyed singing “You Can’t Ask Too Much of My God” because it is such a wonderful realization that He is literally bigger than any problem I will ever have. It has a catchy tune and I felt as a songwriter that the first verse in that song was very clever and worked well as a hook to get you into the rest of the song.
I also enjoy singing “Can I Pray For You” just because I still have so many people come up and request it, saying that it had truly ministered to them in a time when they needed to be encouraged. What more could you ask of a song than that? Another song that I enjoy singing was from that same album. It is called “I Got Here As Fast As I Could” and it tells the story of a person’s entire lifetime in just a few short minutes. Yet still it somehow seems to convey the ups and downs of a life well lived and experienced. It has a certain amount of melancholy but a happy ending that promises us a wonderful reunion someday with the ones that we love. I guess every song has a story, but these are three that still resonate with my audiences today.
Miles: Obviously it is God that blesses us as we work for Him, but what do you consider your most noteworthy accomplishment in the time you’ve been on the road?
Mark: This will probably sound like I am trying to be clever or something, but I honestly have never focused on accomplishment in my music career, to the degree that I might have had more number one songs or more accolades if I had only been more ambitious. That’s not to say that the Lord hasn’t blessed me with a lot of things; by myself and with the group, I have had a lot of wonderful things happen in my career. But that was the Lord. It certainly wasn’t me. Maybe this is the introspective songwriter dude coming out, but when I think about myself at the end of this journey and I think about what were the important things, my answer will be: “Was I a good husband to my wife and was I a good dad to my daughters? Did I shower them with love and attention at every opportunity? Did I make them feel good about themselves?” Well, honestly, I’d take that over whatever my songs might do after I am gone. My love for my family runs achingly deep.
Miles: What are some interests or hobbies that you have that may be a surprise to the fans of your music?
Mark: Well, I don’t know if it would surprise anyone or not, but I love sports. I am a Kentucky basketball fan (of course) and a Cincinnati Reds fan. We love going and watching games when we can. It’s a relaxing evening when we are at the ballpark. My daughters have always played fast pitch softball so we spend a lot of evenings at the ballpark watching them. When I am home, I serve as the announcer at the high school home games. I love to hunt and fish when I have the time. I love to work in the yard, believe it or not, doing landscaping and getting my hands dirty. I guess I got that from my dad.
Miles: What do you think about when you are singing? What is a Scripture verse that has helped mold your thoughts and actions toward an audience and toward what you do as a minister?
Mark: Well, I try to be in the moment when I am singing so I just totally immerse myself in the lyrics and the melody. The lyrics most of all because as anyone who has seen me can attest, I am really up there just telling stories. It just so happens that I am telling them with a song. As far as scriptures go, they are as unique and specialized as songs so that really depends upon the situation. If I feel like I am facing an uphill battle, I might think of Philippians 4:13… or there have been times when Corinthians 4:16 through 18 have given me comfort. I really find myself enamored with all that the Apostle Paul had to say to the church. It’s some of my favorite reading in the Bible.
Miles: What else is going on in your ministry that you would like to share with the readers?
Mark: Of course I am always writing songs and I am already working on new material for my next album, though we don’t have a date set for its release. [Editor's note: article first published in April 2013] My current album I Can Rejoice is doing well and praise the Lord that the radio stations are playing the songs. I am excited about a few upcoming concerts that I think folks will really enjoy. At the end of June, I will be joining some of my songwriter friends and peers, including Phil Cross, Gerald Crabb and Squire Parsons, for a special Song of A Lifetime concert in northern Georgia. That is a concert that folks won’t want to miss and will be worth the drive from about anywhere. Folks can learn about that at my website or at our Facebook page. Just search for Mark Bishop Music and you’ll find us. We are also looking forward to next year’s Singing at Sea cruise. Come join us for that. If folks would like to keep up with our music ministry, they can subscribe for free to our email newsletter that comes out about once a month. They can do that on the main page of our website.
Mark: I don’t tweet or twitter but by that I guess you mean something succinct? I’ll just say, “Be true to your heart and your beliefs, don’t sell yourself short. You’re stronger than you think.”
Be sure to visit Mark’s website at www.MarkBishopMusic.com and read more about him and see where he’ll be in concert near you! You won’t regret taking an evening to go sit and listen to what he has to offer.
Thanks for reading and if you would like to suggest someone to me for a future interview, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Miles Pike
First Published April 2013 on SGM Radio website. For current features visit http://www.sgmradio.com/
Tags: bluegrass, Christian Music, Cincinnati Reds, gospel music, Mark Bishop, Miles Pike, sgm radio
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Mountain Home Music Company artists honored for excellence in several categories
Balsam Range, [pictured above], recently released its fifth album, FIVE. The band’s previous release,PAPERTOWN, was named 2013 IBMA Album of the Year.
Nashville, TN – It was a big night for Balsam Range at the 2014 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards, which were announced during a red carpet event at the annual World of Bluegrass convention in Raleigh, NC.
Singer/Fiddler Buddy Melton was named Male Vocalist of the Year and shared his heartfelt gratitude from the stage. Balsam Range was honored as Vocal Group of the Year, and in the final award of the night, this band of friends from North Carolina’s Haywood County was honored with the coveted IBMAEntertainer of the Year Award.
Guitar virtuoso and singer, Caleb Smith, however, nearly missed the big moment.
Balsam Range had just performed “Moon Over Memphis” and Caleb was backstage talking guitars with fellow-artist, Del McCoury. Guitars are, after all, a favorite topic for Smith, a luthier who makes Caleb Smith Guitars. When the Entertainer of the Year award was announced, McCoury had to interrupt Smith, saying “Son, I think they just said your name.” No fret, Caleb made it to the stage in time to accept the award alongside Tim Surrett, Buddy Melton, Marc Pruett and Darren Nicholson.
Label-mates at Mountain Home Music Company also received IBMA awards. Adam Steffey of The Boxcars was named Mandolin Player of the Year, and Flatt Lonesome won the Emerging Artist of the Year award. At an earlier luncheon program, Tim Surrett of Balsam Range was honored with the Mentor Award (one of a series of special honors called Momentum Awards) for his inspiration and work with young and developing artists.
IBMA Awards are decided by a vote of the professional membership of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), the trade association for the bluegrass music industry. The IBMA Awards Show was broadcast live on SiriusXM Satellite Radio (Bluegrass Junction), and streamed for viewing by Music City Roots.
IMAGES: Balsam Range at IBMA Awards, Raleigh, NC (Oct. 2, 2014)
Photos courtesy of Alane Anno Photography
Tags: Balsam Range, bluegrass, IBMA, International Bluegrass Music Awards
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RALEIGH, NC (October 4, 2014) — Powerhouse band Blue Highway members Tim Stafford and Rob Ickes were among the award winners as the brightest stars in Bluegrass gathered on Thursday evening for the 25th Annual IBMA Awards at Raleigh’s Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.
Tim Stafford took home the 2014 International Bluegrass Music Association Songwriter of the Year Award. Rob Ickes and Claire Lynch were special guests on a Special Consensus recording of Wild Montana Skies which was named 2014 IBMA Recorded Event of the Year.
Tim Stafford co-founded Blue Highway, and is a gifted songwriter, guitarist, vocalist, producer, session musician and collegiate instructor, who added author to his list of accolades with the recent release of an acclaimed Tony Rice biography which he co-authored with Caroline Wright. A former member of world-renowned Alison Krauss and Union Station, Tim released his second solo album, Just to Hear the Whistle Blow, in July to rave reviews and immediate chart action, and was also a nominee in this year’s IBMA Awards for Guitar Player of the Year.
Of his award win, Tim shared: “I’m deeply honored to receive the IBMA Songwriter of the Year Award. Songwriters are a huge part of Bluegrass music, and I’m just proud to be part of that vital and growing scene.”
Rob Ickes is the most awarded instrumentalist in the history of the IBMA, with a staggering 15 consecutive trophies for Dobro Player of the Year. Rob has played on recordings with artists from Merle Haggard to Dolly Parton, and David Lee Roth to Mary Chapin Carpenter. When Alan Jackson assembled his dream team for his acclaimed Bluegrass Album, he wanted Rob Ickes on dobro, and Rob played in Jackson’s all-star band from Nashville’s famed Station Inn all the way to Carnegie Hall. The Grammy-winning Ickes just released a hot-selling collaborative dobro album entitled Three Bells in mid-September with IBMA Awards co-host Jerry Douglas and the beloved late Mike Auldridge.
Of his IBMA Award win on Special Consensus’ special team, Rob shared: “Very happy for Greg (Cahill) and Special Consensus! Greg has dedicated his life to this music, and it was great to see him honored Thursday night. It was a fun session, and I was tickled to be a part of the recording!”
Blue Highway, as an Entertainer of the Year nominee among their 9 nominations, performed near the close of the Awards Show, with Shawn Lane lending lead vocals to the poignant Just to Have a Job from Blue Highway’s #1 chart-topping IBMA Album of the Year nominated Rounder Records release, The Game. Shawn Lane was also invited to sing and play fiddle with Awards Show co-host Lee Ann Womack in her performance on the program.
The multi-award winning Blue Highway is 20 years strong with all original members still intact with Jason Burleson on banjo, Rob Ickes on dobro, Shawn Lane on mandolin and fiddle, Tim Stafford on guitar, and Wayne Taylor on bass.
Blue Highway currently sits at #1 atop three prominent Bluegrass Airplay Charts: Bluegrass Unlimited Monthly Airplay Chart with The Game, Bluegrass Unlimited Monthly Song Chart with the The Game, and Roots Music Report Weekly Top 50 Song Chart (released September 29) with Reminds Me of You.
Tags: Blue HIghway, bluegrass, Dobro Player of the Year, IBMA Awards
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First I’d love to thank everyone for your prayers. The passing of my mother has been very emotional and sad. I know many of you have lost loved ones……parents, spouses, children, good friends and it’s a very lonely feeling because it’s final. Although we do believe in an after life, just the fact that you will never get to hear their voice or hug your loved one ever again here on earth , leaves you with such a void in your heart. Seems like its hard to take a deep breath! I’m so grateful that I got to keep my sweet Yiddish Mamma till age 95 and I was with her when she took her final breath. She truly was a survivor. She was a very strong spirited woman. My entire family is thankful for the legacy she has left behind.
So many of you have asked us about funeral arrangements. Many of you wanted to send flowers and special gifts to honor Mom. I wanted to take this time to explain a little about our beautiful Jewish traditions when we loose someone in death.
Before I get into the explanation I will tell you that we tentatively have the funeral scheduled for Wednesday morning….Oct 1st. Mom passed away on Friday Sept 26th and it is currently in the middle if a very Holy holiday, Rosh Hashanah (9/24-9/26) and Yom Kippur (10 days later) so it is hard to make final arrangements with the Rabbi, especially since Friday night started the Sabbath. We will know more Monday morning.
We have chosen to give Mom a traditional Jewish funeral. Our father had the same and this is what she would want. A Jew must be buried within a day or two of death and we do no embalm the body so it must stay refrigerated until burial. Of course with family far away it’s acceptable to wait until all gather together. The coffin must be a plain pine box and the deceased is clothed in a shroud…..white pure linen called a Tachrichim . The reason is because we are all equal in death and we can’t take anything with us when we leave this world. God judges our merits and deeds ,not our material wealth. Once the casket is lowered into the ground, the final act we do is to shovel dirt on top of it. Basically the family will cover the casket with dirt. The reason for this is the deceased cannot do it for themselves. In a way it also acts as a gesture of love and gives family closure. We never see flowers at a Jewish funeral. Tradition says that flowers are unnecessary and die too quickly. Instead of flowers we place stones on the casket or grave site. There are many speculations about the reason for this custom but the one that makes most sense to me is that stones were the only way a grave was marked before headstone were made. It also leaves a sign that the person had a visitor and they’re not left without being remembered . We will then sit shiva (means 7)…..The mourning period which actually lasts 7 days. Family will rent a garment and gather in the home to receive guests.
This is the way we do it and we plan to put Mom away in this manner. She deserves this honorable final gesture from us.
For those of you who wanted to honor our mother, I’ve thought of a beautiful way do this. This seems like a gesture if love and would carry on our Jewish tradition.
Instead of gifts and flowers we will set up a fund in my mothers name and receive donations to help purchase her a headstone! We cannot put the headstone up for one year at which time we have an ” unveiling “. This way you can be a part of putting a stone on her grave. We can all participate in giving her a loving departure together. We have so many friends far away and we can join together in this gesture.
If you want to do this, you can just make a check out to us…. The Isaacs and put on bottom of the check, for “Faye Fishman Headstone Fund”. When the time comes for the purchase of the headstone we will post a photo and you will all know that you were a part of our mothers home going.
Please remember our family as everyone is trying to get our here in the next day or so.
Send any donations to:
PO BOX 370
Goodlettsville, TN 37070
Blessings to you all and again thank you for your prayers and support.
About The Isaacs
The Isaacs, a multi-award winning family group who began singing 30 years ago, are based out of Nashville, TN . The vocalists are Lily Isaacs, Ben Isaacs, Sonya Isaacs Yeary and Rebecca Isaacs Bowman. Playing their own acoustic instruments and joined by other band members, The Isaacs have a unique style that blends tight, family harmony with contemporary acoustic instrumentation that appeals to a variety of audiences. Their musical influences emerge from all genres of music including bluegrass, rhythm and blues, folk, and country, contemporary acoustic and southern gospel. Zak Shumate is on percussion and is the only non family member in the group.
Family also just recently sang anthem at Indiana Pacers game and got a standing ovation. They perform frequently at the Grand Ole Opry, are active members on the Gaither Homecoming Videos and Concert Series and travel throughout the year performing internationally. Concert venues include civic centers, auditoriums, arenas, fair grounds, parks, churches and other locations. They have performed the National Anthem for many sporting events, including a Cincinnati Bengal’s football game, several Nashville Predators Hockey games, an Astros/ Braves pre-season baseball game as well as various political gatherings. They also received a standing ovation for their patriotic performance at Carnegie Hall.
Tags: bluegrass, Christian Music, gospel music, Lily Isaacs, the isaacs
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Pisgah Ridge Recording Artists The Easter Brothers and The Harper Family Nominated in the 45TH Annual GMA Dove AwardsWritten by SGN Scoops Staff on August 19, 2014 – 9:07 pm -
NASHVILLE, TN —The Gospel Music Association (GMA) announced the nominees for the 45th Annual GMA Dove Awards. Artists received nominations in 42 categories for the awards which will be held Tuesday, October 7th at Allen Arean on the campus of Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN and will air on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
Artists on Pisgah Ridge (Crossroads Label Group) received nominations in the Bluegrass Album of the Year category.
The Easter Brothers are nominated for I’D DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN, which was produced by Jared Easter, Steve Schramm and Gerald Crabb. Earlier this year, the Easter Brothers were joined by Jeff and Sheri Easter for a star-studded event at the Sirius XM Music City Theater in Nashville to celebrate the release of the album.
Fans of the Easter Brothers eagerly anticipated the new collection from this legendary Gospel Bluegrass trio, their first in more than a decade. Russell, James, and Ed Easter are each accomplished song writers and have been ministering through their music for over 60 years. With decades of iconic recordings, special appearances, and numerous radio and television performances, this longstanding, hard-working music family is widely admired and respected throughout the country, bluegrass, and gospel industry.
The Easter Brothers have worked their way to legendary success in the gospel industry following humble beginnings in Mt. Airy, North Carolina in the 1930’s. These enduring artists have collectively written over 300 songs, which include gospel greats such as “They’re Holding Up the Ladder” and “Thank You Lord for Your Blessings on Me.” Both of these Dove Award winning classics highlight this very special new album.
The Harper Family is nominated for THROUGH IT ALL which was produced by Tim Surrett. THROUGH IT ALL is The Harper Family’s fifth release, their second on the Pisgah Ridge/Crossroads label. From the hills of the Ozarks in Missouri comes this modest, talented family, brimming with faith. The family consists of parents Gaylon and Katrina Harper. Dalton plays guitar and has a powerful voice. His songwriting skills show the deep spiritual side to his faith. Dillon plays mandolin and sings. Dillon is also an accomplished songwriter. Dillon is joined onstage by wife, Makeena, who is also from a musical family. “Baby sister,” Hannah shares amazing vocals that belie her youth.
For more on the artists:
Tags: bluegrass, Easter Brothers, Jeff & Sheri Easter, Pisgah Ridge, Southern Gospel News
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Legendary Country Music Couple to Release HEARTS LIKE OURS on September 30, 2014
Tags: bluegrass, CMA Vocal Duo of the Year, Faith, Ricky Skaggs
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Nashville, TN The Isaacs, collectively and individually received three nominations for the 2014 Dove Awards. Their group nominations are for Bluegrass Song of the Year for ‘Daniel Prayed’ written by G.T. Speer and Bluegrass Album of the Year ‘The Living Years’ produced by Ben Isaacs and Bill Gaither. Ben also produced another album nominated for Country Album of the Year; ‘Here Comes Sunday‘ by Wilburn & Wilburn.
“We are so humbled and honored to have received nominations in the GMA Dove Awards again this year. The song Daniel Prayed has been recorded many times in different genres, including bluegrass and southern gospel, and we’ve always wanted to do it our style. ‘The Living Years’ is a fun, and insightful album, featuring harmony and light instrumentation, that contains a lot of songs we have loved down through the years, as well as a few originals. We are always grateful when a work of heart gets noticed by such an elite organization. Thank you Gospel Music Association and fans.” Lily Isaacs stated.
The Isaacs have won over seven Doves in various categories and have had several Grammy nominations in their career.
Ben Isaacs is following up a stellar year in 2013 with awards for his production of projects for groups such as the Gaither Vocal Band and the Oak Ridge Boys with an award already this year for Producer Of The Year at the AGM Awards and now two more nominations for Doves.
Ben commented “I am so blessed to produce the best music in the world for some of the best talent in Gospel Music. To be nominated in this category with so many other talented individuals is truly an honor.”
In other exciting news for The Isaacs, Jimmy and Sonya Yeary along with their son Ayden announced that a new baby is on the way. The addition is expected to join the group on January 31, 2015.
To learn more about the Isaacs got to http://www.theisaacs.com or https://www.facebook.com/
If you are interested in booking the Isaacs go to the Harper Agency at www.harperagency.com or email@example.com .
Tags: bluegrass, Dove Awards, Faith, Isaacs, Southern Gospel News
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Balsam Range is one of today’s leading edge Bluegrass bands, accruing numerous number one songs since their inception in 2007. The band has been nominated for several International Bluegrass Music Association awards, winning the 2011 IBMA Song of the Year Award for “Trains I Missed.” These five instrumentalists and vocalists are each accomplished and awarded personally, uniting together to create an infectious blend of Bluegrass, Country, Gospel and Folk that has captured the ears and hearts of many fans across America.
Balsam Range consists of Buddy Melton, Marc Pruett, Caleb Smith, Darren Nicholson and Tim Surrett. While each member has an impressive list of credentials in Bluegrass music, Tim Surrett is most recognizable by Southern Gospel fans, having sung with The Kingsmen Quartet for many years. Surrett takes a few moments to chat with SGM Radio about the band, his family and his faith.
Balsam Range records a mix of secular and Gospel songs on their albums, a tradition that continues with their latest album, Papertown, a recording that was number two in PopMatters Best of Bluegrass 2012 and also in CMT Edge 10 Favorite Americana Albums of 2012. These accolades bring even more attention to a band with a very busy schedule. “There is a lot going on these days,” says Surrett. “We are heading into the busy season for Bluegrass. Our latest album Papertown is the current number one album in Bluegrass, with three of the singles going number one so far. One of those is “Row By Row,” which was a number one Gospel song for us. We are playing extensively, and spreading out a bit more than we intended. That is a good thing, though!”
“Balsam Range has been together for six years now,” says Surrett. “Hard to believe! We came together as a result of two of the guys doing solo records. I ended up playing bass on both projects, and we had so much fun that we decided to get together and just jam a little. Immediately we knew something was going on! The second time we got together, one of the guys said that he had gotten a call about doing a show, and did we want to do it? We did the program, and it just took off from there.” A favorite vocalist and instrumentalist in Southern Gospel, Surrett’s fans don’t seem to have any problem with his transition to secular Bluegrass. “I have never gotten any flack about playing in a secular group. We do a lot of Gospel programs and churches and I have continued doing solo church programs when able to do so.”
Surrett enjoys playing with the guys of Balsam Range and the camaraderie of the group is evident onstage. The group is as much known for the sweet, country tenor of Buddy Melton as it is for the engaging MC work and humor of Surrett. Surrett says, “I do my best to make that as interesting or funny as possible. I had some great teachers in Jim Hamill and Squire Parsons. Hamill was so honest with the audience; he was just hysterical at times. Squire taught me that just because you are both southern and rural, you don’t have to come off like Larry The Cable Guy.” Surrett laughs, “I secretly like him!”
As a member of Balsam Range, Surrett has an opportunity to touch the hearts of listeners who might never have heard the words of a Gospel song, such as he might have performed with The Kingsmen. “I feel with certainty that God has put me where I am to be a witness to people who would never go to a church or Gospel program,” says Surrett, a strong Christian who works at maintaining and growing in faith. “I try to read the Bible as much as possible, sometimes on my phone or Kindle, however possible. My pastor, Jackie Collins, is a great Bible teacher. I love to learn something every time I go to church!” Surrett says, “My goal is just to be a better [Christian], which means showing Christ, not talking Christ.”
It is important to also maintain a strong family unit even with the heavy demands of a tour schedule. Surrett says, “We pray. I am gone more than I care to be, so every day home has to count! I have a great wife and an awesome son who is about to turn five. Until now I never really cared about how much I was gone. Not the case any more!” Surrett also has strong support from Christian friends. “People send me verses via text messages every day, and I love how they are always spot-on with whatever is happening for me that day. I’m not even surprised any more!”
Tim Surrett and Balsam Range have successfully created a niche for themselves in the world of Bluegrass and Americana music, performing music that engages all ages and attracts the ear of fans of all genres. As they appear at venues across the nation, Surrett has one wish for the audience of Balsam Range. “I would hope that wherever people heard me play, that they knew that I meant every word.”
For more information on Balsam Range visit http://balsamrange.com/
For more information on Tim Surrett click on https://www.facebook.com/tim.surrett.9
SGMRadio enjoyed visiting with Tim Surrett, vocalist and instrumentalist with Balsam Range, as we continue our feature entitled “In Depth With”. We will try to allow you to get to know your favorite artists just a little better by asking questions you may have always wanted to ask. If you have a favorite artist please email us and tell us what you would like to know about them! Email here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Lorraine Walker
First Published By SGM Radio website in June 2013. For current features visit http://www.sgmradio.com/
Tags: Balsam Range, bluegrass, Christian artist, Gospel, Lorraine Walker, sgm radio, Tim Surrett
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If you like Bluegrass, you have to hear The Gaskills. Four brothers from Oklahoma pick their instruments like seasoned professionals twice their age. Mom and Dad Gaskill look after travel and booking arrangements. Little sister Andrea is waiting in the wings for her chance to sing backup. But James, Peter, Timothy and Joshua currently front the group and will pick and play their way into your heart, even if you aren’t a Bluegrass lover.
The Gaskills originally traveled with all eight children, back in 2004, with parents Bob and Brenda looking after their schooling offstage and their real-life experiences onstage. Then Christy, John and Shelley left the road. Today’s Gaskill sound is tight and sweet with James, 22, playing the mandolin and singing lead and harmony; Peter, 20, playing banjo and guitar and singing lead/baritone; Timothy, 17, playing guitar and dobro and singing lead; and Joshua, 15, playing ‘double’ bass and singing tenor. Their most recent recording is Some Sweet Day, and as they play across the country they find that many of their songs touch their listeners the way only Gospel Bluegrass can pluck heartstrings.
These talented gentlemen not only perform all their own instrumentation and arrangements on their recordings, they also write many of the songs they perform. On Some Sweet Day, Timothy and Peter Gaskill wrote the “Battle of Amalek”, “Live Forever More” and “Some Sweet Day.” “Grassride” is an instrumental written by Peter. Three of these songs are sampled and available for listening on their website, listed below.
James Gaskill says his favorite song to perform is “Gone Away.” “It’s a song we played when we were very young and won the International Bluegrass Festival Competition in Guthrie, Oklahoma,” says James. “We pulled this song out again at Mom’s request. This song has a great grove and speaks to the audience of their position in Christ. The lyrics are: “Gone away, gone away, all the troubles in my soul are gone away. I was lost out in the night, but Praise God I saw the light, all the troubles in my soul are gone away.”1 This makes everyone get the right perspective on their troubles and gets them rejoicing in who they are in Christ.”
Peter enjoys performing the old Gospel standard, “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow.” “This is a really touching song,” Peter shares. “I can see it really reaches the people and speaks to their hearts. Our arrangement and instrumentation of the song is very unique, making it a blessing to all.”
“Daybreak in Dixie” is Timothy’s favorite, as he says the song “…is an exciting fast paced instrumental which really gets the crowd smiling and laughing. Read more »
Tags: bluegrass, Gospel, music, Oklahoma, SGM Radio website, The Gaskills
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