“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, visithttp://www.doveawards.com
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, visitwww.marksmenquartet.com