Change is inevitable. Some say, if you are not changing or evolving you are dying. Others say change is good for the energy. One thing for sure, change does not quench the mission or desire to sing gospel music.
Since 1963, the Pine Ridge Boys have been sharing heritage quartet music in gospel music circles. The group is one of the few to have an original member singing in each configuration over the last fifty-five years. When Big Jim Stewart retired, he turned the quartet reigns over to his son, Larry Stewart.
Larry was in the quartet as a child, even when he knew nothing about gospel music. But the old saying is true, â€œLike father, like son!â€ He has developed into one of gospel musicâ€™s most acclaimed bass singers.
In June of 2018, original member Wayne Shuford decided that it was time to stay home with his Rosielee. Shuford says, â€œAfter 55 years of singing gospel music, it was the right time for me to retire from the group. With Ivory Lukeâ€™s departure, the group had the chance to add two new members who would energize performances and allow the group to continue the legacy started by me, Big Jim, Charles Burke, Miles Cooper and Charles Abee.Â It has been a wonderful fifty-five years in gospel music and I think Larry will carry on the heritage for years to come. The Pine Ridge Boys will always be special to me! We are family.â€
Larry began the task of auditioning tenor and baritone singers. After countless applications, demo tapes, impromptu auditions, phone calls and video tapes, the Pine Ridge Boys have found two exciting new members to sing tenor and baritone.
Michael Maggard, who is known for his time with the Lordsmen and most recently the Faith Harmony Boys, is now singing tenor for the Pine Ridge Boys. He and his wife Ellen have been married since 1981 and have two children (Michelle and Emily) and two grandchildren, Jayden and Ava.Â Mike and his wife make their home in Hansford, W.V.
â€œThe power and finesse Michael brings to the group is exciting. He is able to communicate any song in such a way that just blesses people on concert stages or in any church service. I know he is going to fit right in with the Pine Ridge Boys. His testimony and talent are top notch,â€ says Stewart.
Chip McCaa comes to the Pine Ridge Boys singing baritone and is truly making his mark with Pine Ridge Boysâ€™ friends and family. His musical history includes singing for New Life Trio, Holy City and the Glorymen. Living in Lugoff, S.C., he is married to April McCaa since December, 2003. His warm, bubbly personality and infectious smile have made him a fan favorite.
Stewart states, â€œChip is truly one of a kind. He is a man of conviction and principle and it shows when you meet him. Singing…well, he is able to blend on those pretty songs, while giving energy on those traditional up-tempo quartet numbers. He is fun to travel with, and on the bus – well, thereâ€™s never a dull moment.â€
Stewart continues, â€œEach member of the Pine Ridge Boys (Michael, Chip, Steven, Ray and I) are renewed and committed in our mission and desire to sing gospel quartet music with a message. We love the response the group receives when people hear the new members. But it is more exciting to see how good God has been in our church services. We have been having some great times of renewal in so many places. It seems in todayâ€™s world, there are so many people who are in need and are going through a rough patch in life. All the Pine Ridge Boys are thankful for being able to sing songs that encourage, uplift and provide comfort, joy and peace to those who come to our singings.â€
The Pine Ridge Boys are excited to announce that their Homecoming Sing for 2019 will be May 11. The 56th Year Anniversary features the Mylon Hayes Family, the Sheltons, Hearts Afire, Pine Ridge Boys and emcee Charlie Griffin on Saturday evening. The concert will be at First Baptist Church Inman, S.C., with host pastor, Dr. Paul Moore. Starting at 5:30 p.m., the concert is free admission with free parking. A love offering will be received.
The Pine Ridge Boys are working on a new CD with a 2019 first quarter release date. The group is now listening to new material. Currently the CD release is slated to be on SonSound Records of Gastonia, N.C.
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The Pine Ridge Boys will be returning to Creekside Gospel Music Convention in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee,Â Oct. 28 – Nov.1.
Other gospel music artists appearing at Creekside Gospel Music Convention also include the Jordan Family Band, the Williamsons, Mark209, Sunday Drive, the Hyssongs, Eagleâ€™s Wings, the Chandlers, the Dunaways, and many more.
For more Äºinformation on Creekside 2018, including the Diamond Awards and free ticket reservations, visit www.sgnscoops.com or www.facebook.com/Creeksidegospelmusicconvention. For a $25 VIP pass, tickets and accommodations, contact Rob Patz by calling 360-933-0741.
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