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Creekside Gospel Music Convention

The Marksmen Quartet reach across the generations with their latest release

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on November 25, 2014 – 8:53 am -

Marksmen Quartet

Marksmen Quartet

Three-time Dove nominees the Marksmen Quartet of Murrayville, Ga. cross the “Generations” with their latest CD.

From the first song – Albert E. Brumley’s classic “I Firmly Promise You,” the smooth harmonies, which have made the group a Southern gospel and bluegrass mainstay for the last 47 years, blend the talents of three generations from the act’s most enduring families.

The quartet founded by Earle Wheeler in 1967 currently features Earle and his son Mark Wheeler along with 29-year Marksmen member Darrin Chambers and the latest addition Aaron Johnson. Darrin is the son of former long-time tenor singer and mandolinist Keith Chambers and Aaron is his grandson. The recording also features guest appearances by Mark’s children – Will and Sarah Grace singing and playing mandolin and fiddle, respectively.

“With the addition of Aaron to the group, it hit me that we reached our third generation of performers and audience,” Earle said. “So the theme of the latest project came to us easily.”

There are singers whose voices make them immediately identifiable; Earle’s unique Southern gospel vocal stylings have made the Marksmen sound recognizable in three music genres – Southern gospel, bluegrass and country. His leadership has garnered them countless awards in each genre including Dove nominations for their latest three CDs.

Earle is featured on “Why Can’t You Believe?” and “Will You Meet Me Over Yonder.”

This CD features songs that highlight each member; it is Mark’s traditional country lead that through the years has become a pivotal part of the sound beside his father’s unique voice.

Mark adds three more new songs to his songwriting catalog. He delivers a haunting performance — “The Spirit Moved,” his song penned with Jim Green. He also features

“No More Sin,” composed with Lance Carpenter.

Mark’s original song written with former Marksmen David Waller – “The Folly of a Fool” is sang by Darrin Chambers and is a commentary on believing in evolution.

A classic hymn written to feature a bass vocal “He Understands and Cares for Me” also highlights Darrin’s talents.

“Darrin continues to be a vital part of what we do musically and vocally,” Earle said.

Reaching back into some of the songs the group popularized early in their career with tenor Keith Chambers “I Have a New Life” and “Payday,” the group passes the torch now with his grandson carrying the prominent part in these audience favorites.

“Aaron’s approach is different vocally, but folks who follow us have shared how much they are enjoying his smooth sound,” Mark said.

The third generation of the Wheeler family adds their contribution as young Will Wheeler singing with his father and sister on “I’m Not Going to Hell.”

Sarah Grace joins her father and grandfather on “Time Has Made a Change.”

Mark features his banjo stylings on “the Old Cross Road” continuing a family tradition passed through the generations in his family.

Solid Gospel radio host Les Butler makes a guest appearance singing baritone and playing mandolin on the bluegrass standard “The Old Cross Road.” Fiddler Lynn Shook adds his talents to “Payday.”

“We hope that our friends will enjoy our latest CD,” Earle said. “This is my 44th album and each time we create a new one, its is just as exciting as the first time, the creativity, the love that is shared through the music, and the hope that God uses it to reach those who need to hear his message.”

The CD is available at for download on ITunes, and CDBaby. For more information, visit, Fans may like Marksmen Mountain Music Camp on Facebook.

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The Marksmen Quartet receive 2013 Dove Award nomination

Written by SGN Scoops on August 26, 2013 – 5:14 am -

imageThe Marksmen Quartet of Murrayville, Ga. garnered their third Dove Award nomination in the upcoming 44th Annual Awards.

“This Is My Crowd,” their latest Rural Rhythm CD, is one of five nominees in the Bluegrass Album of the Year category sharing the field with Steven Curtis Chapman, The Little Roy & Lizzy Show, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver and Dailey & Vincent.

Father and son Earle and Mark Wheeler heard the news while preparing for a tour in the western U.S. They have shared much of the group’s history on the road telling of their love of God in music.

Earle’s distinctive vocal styling has set the group a part from other quartets since it’s founding in 1967.

When hearing of the nomination, he simply commented, “ To God be the glory.”

Mark, who sings lead and baritone and plays guitar, produced the 14-song album and Steve Gulley mastered it.

“It encourages us to know others like this album,” he said. “We spent a lot of time trying to put out a good one. Knowing that people like what we do is great, but our number goal is to spread the gospel and hope the Lord is pleased and glorified.

Mark said that the latest CD is a diverse collection of songs designed to reach as many people with the gospel message through a mix of Bluegrass gospel, country inspirational, old-time Southern gospel, a touch of convention singing and even some blues.

“ ‘This Is My Crowd’ contains some of the best songs we have ever recorded,” he said.

Other members of the group include second-generation member Darrin Chambers, who sings bass and plays Dobro; Davey Waller, who plays mandolin and sings tenor;  and Mark Autry who plays bass and sings various parts.

The CD includes special guest musicians Les Butler, Bryan McDowell and Jon Edmisten.

Among the songs there are nine originals including those penned by Mark Wheeler and Davey Waller. The CD includes:  This Is My Crowd, Don’t Take Your Life (Take Mine), Matthew 24, Rock of Ages, John Was a Baptist, I Was There When It Happened, Stack Them Stones, Last Saturday Night, The Original Superman, The Upper Room, Saints and Pilgrims Way, The Veil, The Mule Song and Reuben.

The Dove Awards are Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m. at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena in Nashville. The show will be broadcast at 8 p.m. Oct. 21 on the Up! Television Network. For more information, visit

The Marksmen Quartet is an inductee of the Lone Star State Country Music Association Gospel Music Hall of Fame and the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame.

For more information about the group,

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MARKSMEN QUARTET Gearing Up for New Album Release THIS IS MY CROWD releasing July 31, 2012

Written by SGN Scoops Staff on July 18, 2012 – 10:56 am -

Nashville, TN (July 18, 2012) — Rural Rhythm Christian is proud to announce the upcoming July 31, 2012 new album release, THIS IS MY CROWD by the multi-award winning group, the MARKSMEN QUARTET. “In their decades of recording, I must say this new release tops them all. Amazing,” said Les Butler, Syndicated Radio Show Host, Front Porch Fellowship and Singing News Magazine.

There are numerous highlighted tracks on the album including the first gospel single, “Don’t Take Your Life (Take Mine)” that has already been released to Gospel radio, plus the first Bluegrass single, “Stack Them Stones” releasing to Bluegrass and Bluegrass Gospel radio programmers today.

THIS IS MY CROWD is a diverse collection of songs designed to reach as many people with the gospel message as possible including Bluegrass Gospel, Country Inspirational, Old-Time Southern Gospel, with a touch of Convention Singing and even some Blues. Band member, Mark Wheeler explained, “THIS IS MY CROWD contains some of the best songs we have ever recorded.”

The album was produced by Earle Wheeler and Mark Wheeler and mastered by Steve Gulley. THIS IS MY CROWD contains some special guests including Les Butler, Bryan McDowell and Jon Edmisten who have assisted the MARKSMEN QUARTET in creating a fresh new album of 14 songs that will delight their fans and surely make many new ones.

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The Marksmen Quartet Hits Streak with the Doves

Written by Scoops Staff on April 8, 2010 – 1:38 pm -

Consecutive Dove Award nominations highlight the Marksmen Quartet’s latest two Rural Rhythm CDs.

The Marksmen Quartet, from left, are Earle Wheeler, Mark Autry, Davey Waller, Mark Wheeler and Darrin Chambers. (Photo courtesy BlueHighwaysTV)

Their latest “Blue Ridge Mountain Memories” is up for Bluegrass Album of the Year sharing the category with “Breaking Like Dawn,” by Little Roy Lewis and Lizzy Long; “I Have Been Blessed” by The Far City Boys, “I Just Want to Thank You Lord” by Larry Sparks; “Lord, Bless This House” by Nothin’ Fancy and “The Isaacs…Naturally” by The Isaacs. The previous CD “God’s Masterpiece” was also nominated in 2008.

Father and son Earle and Mark Wheeler, of Murrayville, Ga. have spent much of the group’s 43 years on the road sharing their love of God in music.

Earle said he is thrilled that the group’s gospel music peers are honoring the music they are creating.

“Sometimes certain types of successes are years in the making,” Earle said. “Our sound is better than ever and the boys we have working with us are some of the finest musicians and vocalists in the industry. I am thankful that we are reaching our fellow performers with His music.”

Mark Wheeler, who sings baritone, lead and plays guitar produced the project, and said he feels blessed to have spent his life playing music with his dad and creating songs that dozens of artists have recorded.

Several of the songs on the album are from his pen including their number one song “Love Letters in the Sand” which he co-wrote the Rev. Willard Thomas.

He feels one of the biggest songs on the project is their current radio single “The Sun Didn’t Shine,” which has already hit the charts after three weeks of release.

“We are getting a lot of response from it in our concerts,” he said. “It is an extremely fun song to sing. This is the first time I have been able to bring this five-man harmony together to reflect the original sound from the Golden Gate Quartet of the 1930s. I was really excited we were able to capture this level of performance.”

Other members of the group include second-generation member Darrin Chambers who sings bass, and plays Dobro and bass; mandolinist and tenor Davey Waller; bassist and vocalist Mark Autry. Appearances were also made on the CD by former Marksmen Keith Chambers and Tommy Dutton; banjo players Barry Abernathy, Mike Tucker, and Josh Hicks; and fiddler Jim Van Cleve.

Mark said their sound is “just mountain gospel music.”

“It has been done this way for more than hundred years in these hills at the little old white churches found at the head of many mountain hollers,” he said.

The 41st Annual Dove Awards will air April 25 at 8 p.m. EST on GMC from the Opry Entertainment Complex in Nashville, Tenn.

Blue Ridge Mountain Memories is available from Books a Million,, and other locations.

To learn more about The Marksmen Quartet, visit

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