Beyond the Song: The Adams Family sings “I Can’t Quit”
I got in touch with Tim McFarland who sings with the Adams Family group and he joined me for this interview. Enjoy the story, as we go Beyond the Song with the Adams Family.
Jantina Baksteen: Please introduce the Adams Family to the readers of SGNScoops.
Tim McFarland: The Adams Family is an American southern gospel band, named after its founder and leader Russ Adams, based out of Trenton, Ohio. As of January 2019, the band consists of Russ Adams, Susan Longworth, David Longworth, and Tim McFarland. Although the group started out with Russ, his sister, brother and brother in-law in the 1970s, it has had very few band member changes.
Russ Adams is proud to be standing side by side with part of his family singing about the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ. Russ plays the guitar and sings lead and baritone for the group. Russ lives in Trenton, Ohio, with his beautiful wife Peggy.
Susan Longworth is the youngest and only daughter of Russ and Peggy. Her beautiful voice and talent on the piano are small in comparison to her love for God. While traveling she met the love of her life David Longworth who now stands side by side with her on stage nightly. They have raised two beautiful children and reside in Trenton, Ohio.
David Longworth is the only son-in-law of Russ and Peggy, and is the lead guitarist and sound man. His guitar skills are second to none and adds a unique style to the group’s sound. David is also a minister of the Gospel. David resides in Trenton with his wife Susan and their two children.
Tim McFarland is the newest member of the group. Tim joined in 2011 as bass player and now sings lead and tenor backup vocals. He resides in Ross, Ohio. Tim is married to his wife Lisa; they have three daughters and a son, along with five grandchildren.
JB: Who are your musical influences?
TM: One of the Adams family influences in the early years was their friends, The Hinsons.
JB: As for right now you have a great new radio release called, “I Can’t Quit,” written by Stephen Phillips. On what album is this recorded?
TM: The song “I Can’t Quit” is our latest release from our CD, The Time is Now.
JB: What made you to record this song and what is the message?
Susan Longworth: During song selection, which is listening to about 300 plus songs that were sent to us by various writers, I decided to start scanning the internet for some other songs. I came across “I Can’t Quit” on You Tube. After presenting it to the group, we were all like, “Oh my gosh, we have to do this song!” The message in it hit all of us, and those songs are hard to find.
The message in this song is so powerful! It talks about not quitting because Jesus never quits on us. How life can be hard and overwhelming at times and you sometimes just want to quit and give up, but as a child of God, he instills a fire within us that keeps burning and that fire keeps us going.
JB: What does this song mean to you personally?
TM: I’ll just be honest here, there was a time in my life when it seemed like my whole world had been taken away from me. I wasn’t sure if there was even a reason to go back to church, and I had grown up a pastor’s son. BUt then God, just like he did for Jeremiah, reminded me I wasn’t the only one that ever been through stuff. He rekindled the flame in me, gave me new visions and told me not to quit. So yes, this song gets personal.
JB: Do you have a testimony to share (about this song)?
TM: I don’t think we have sung this song out when/ where we haven’t gotten a strong response. The song relates to everyone, pastors, song leaders, every Christian out there living day to day.
JB: How does the crowd respond to this song?
SL: We have been singing this song out for almost a year now and the affect it has had is overwhelming. Night after night, God’s children are usually doing one of three things: Standing with arms lifted in praise, crying and sharing emotionally, or praying for God’s help and mercy. We have watched it as it touched the lives of the youth and the elderly, we have even seen congregations gather around their pastors and pray for God’s hand of mercy to keep him strong. Now that’s a testimony!
TM: This song has become so powerful in our own lives, that Russ and I have asked to do it with the track only. We want to enjoy the presence of the Holy Spirit without having to worry about playing it.
JB: What is your favorite Bible scripture?
SL: My favorite Bible scripture is Isaiah 40: 28-31.
JB: The Butler Music Group is your agency. How is it to work with a celebrity like Les?
TM: Working with Les has been awesome and the best experience we have had as a group recording. He’s caring and has become a great friend. We all clicked from the beginning with Les. He will even tell you we are the only group he knew nothing about when we walked in the studio, yet through a word of prayer everything changed. Not only is Les a walking Southern gospel encyclopedia and icon, he’s a good old-fashioned preacher. Now, how can you go wrong with that. We are so honored to be working Les and the fine people at Butler/ Family Music Group. In our eyes, they’re the best.
JB: Do you have a funny road story?
We always like to share stories about some of our trips, so here’s a recent one from this past year.
As most know, since the bus went down, we’ve been traveling in vehicles from place to place. One Saturday night, we all met at a hotel in the town we were scheduled to sing in on Sunday. After eating dinner that night we returned to our rooms, but not before we decided where we were going to eat breakfast the next morning. That’s important stuff you know. Anyway, it was decided that we’d go to McDonalds. Well the next morning, Russ and Peggy got up and decided they would rather eat at the hotel (great choice on their part, I’m just saying). Not being a problem, David and Susan decided to ride to breakfast with Tim and his son Zach. Russ and Peggy soon joined them for a cup of coffee and a few laughs. After breakfast it was time to head on to church. Russ, Peggy, Susan and David went out one side of the building, Tim and Zach the other. Somewhere in the process David stopped to grab something, not sure what it was, probably not important. Anyway, what happened next was textbook. (Don’t get ahead of us now). Russ pulled out thinking Tim had David. Tim pulled out thinking Russ had David and the rest is history.
While leaving the lot, Russ looked up to see David running with his hands in the air trying to get somebody to stop and give him a ride. In the meantime, oblivious to what had just happened, Tim just keeps on going. They finally catch up to Tim and that’s when it happened. Tim’s phone rings, it’s Susan on the line, she made one little statement that would nearly get them all killed. “Tim tell David I have his guitar!” (Now, mind you, Russ is pulling a trailer full of equipment). Tim locked on his breaks in front of Russ, went from 45 to 0 in .0 seconds. He made a U-turn in the middle of a major highway, and headed back to McD’s to get his guitar player and sound man. All he could hear on the other end of the line was laughter, all they could hear was Tim’s heart hit the floor.
And then they laugh when Russ introduces the group and says, “This is what’s left of my kids that travel with me.”
JB: Where do we find you on the internet?
TM: The Adams Family can be contacted in several ways. First and foremost, would be our webpage HERE. We also have a few other media outlets like Facebook/ The Adams Family, or on Twitter/adamsfamilysingers. Bookings can be made online HERE or by calling Russ directly at (513)708-6532.
Listen to the Adams Family singing “I Can’t Quit,” written by Stephen Phillips of the Phillips Family:
Thank you, Adams Family, for sharing the in and outs of your ministry. Hopefully you all will be back on the road soon, sharing the greatest message through song, for His glory and salvation to those who are lost.
By Jantina Baksteen