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What's Up with The Churchmen
March 5, 2013 (Willis, VA) -Dove nominated bluegrass gospel group, The Churchmen, are joining forces with Virginia based Mountain Fever Records on their spring release Mercy Road, the inaugural venture for the band on the label. The first single from the album, "Bread and Water", hits radio today, March 5th. The Churchmen, a bluegrass gospel group based in Collinsville, Virginia, was formed in 1989 when they began singing in local churches. Their Southern Gospel style, four part harmony, and bluegrass instrumentation gives them a unique sound that has gained them national and international attention. The first radio single from the new album, Mercy Road, is the song "Bread and Water," written by the newest member of the band, Carroll Arnn. "We are so excited and blessed as we begin a new version of the band with the addition of Carroll. We started performing "Bread and water" and started getting crowd responses that showed us we had something special. Carroll wrote this song and brought it to the group as soon as he started in the fall of 2012. We hope everyone received the same blessings that we did," said Gerald. The title track from Mercy Road is penned by longtime bluegrass songwriter Becky Buller, with Jerry Salley as co-writer. Buller is well known in bluegrass circles and Bluegrass Unlimited said, "Buller seems to be carving out a niche for herself as the designate muse of contemporary bluegrassers…" The group features founding member, Keith Clark on lead vocals and acoustic bass, longtime member Gerald Harbour on vocals and mandolin, former SPGMA "Male Vocalist of the Year-Traditional," David Guthrie on lead and harmony vocals and guitar, Carroll Arnn on banjo, guitar and fiddle, occasional guest Rick Keene on resonator guitar, and Jerry Haga behind the scenes on sound. Longtime gospel favorites and Grammy winners, Jeff and Sheri Easter said, "The Churchmen are one of the fastest growing, hottest sounds in Bluegrass Gospel Music today. We have worked with these guys a lot, and they really live what they sing." The Churchmen's CD On the Journey Home was nominated for a Dove Award for Bluegrass Album of the Year while the CD Traveling Through gained widespread acclaim, including attention for the Dove nominated song "Bedside Prayer," previously up for Bluegrass Song of the Year. Their most recent CD, I'll Be Long Gone garnered strong reviews and continues to get substantial radio airplay. David Higgs, host and curator of the nationally syndicated radio show Bluegrass Breakdown says, "The Churchmen certainly know how to sing a good gospel tune. More than just about any other band, they have figured out how to successfully marry the Southern Gospel style of singing to Bluegrass and the result is a compelling, exciting and powerful combination.
For Immediate Press Release from Good Stuff PR
Dove Nominated Bluegrass Gospel Group The Churchmen
First single "Bread and Water", hits radio today, March 5th.Thanks to Tracy Harbour and the Photo Phactory for the great photography work! Please visit the Photo Phactory for all your photography needs!
Welcome Aboard - Carroll Arnn
The Churchmen want to welcome a great friend to the line-up of the band - Carroll Arnn. Carroll has been a close associate to the band for many years and it is great to have in on stage with us after all of this time. Carroll first contributed to the band in the 1990's when he penned several songs that The Churchmen recorded. "The King is on His Throne", "The Tie that Binds", and "Sailing with The Savior" are Carroll Arnn originals that were recorded on Churchmen CD's. In addition to being a great song writer, Carroll is also very versatile musician. He plays banjo, fiddle and guitar on Churchmen sets and can probably play anything else with strings! Carroll is also a great vocalist and will be singing some lead and lots of harmony vocals with the new Churchmen line-up. We already have plans to record some of Carroll's new original tunes that will feature his vocal abilities. Look for "Bread and Water" to be recorded and sent to radio soon.
Carroll is also a wonderful person and example of what a Gospel musician should be. Carroll is a leader in his local church and has a great Christian testimony. His actions and words speak volumes, and he has already been a great asset to the band on and off stage. Carroll has played in bands for several years. He played with his own family band and most recently played with The Church Sisters. Carroll resides in Danville, VA with his lovely wife, Bet. They have 2 beautiful daughters, Brittany and Amanda, and also have 2 grandsons Levi and Leland.
It's with mixed emotion that we say that after 23 years Freddy has decided to take some time off. We have traveled thousands of miles since 1989 and he says its time to stay home some. Freddy's family, "The Rakes Family", has a wonderful Gospel group and has started playing more regularly and Freddy wants to spend more time with them. Fred Rakes is a retired Pastor and still loves to preach and sing and it's great that Freddy gets to be a part of his Dad's and family's ministry. Words can't express the debt of gratitude that we owe Freddy for his service to The Lord. Countless untold hours have been spent down through the years in maintaining busses, bookkeeping, and all of the behind the scene stuff that Freddy has done, not to mention the thousands of concerts performed and the countless sleepless nights spent driving. It was truly a labor of love and we are forever in his debt. Thanks Freddy and God Bless you. We love you man!
Nelson Automotive Sponsors The Churchmen
The Churchmen would like to announce the addition of a primary sponsor - The Nelson Automotive Group. Autosbynelson.com will provide travel vehicles for the Churchmen on the road, primarily a white Ford 15 passenger van. This is a great blessing to the band and such a wonderful show of support for The Gospel and the community by the Nelson Group. Barry Nelson says "The Churchmen have a great message and we wanted to support that. We have been friends with Keith and the guys for a long time and are glad to be associated with them".
"This is the first sponsorship of this type that the band has received and we are thrilled to no end" according to Keith Clark of the Churchmen. "What a blessing to have a lot of the worry of travel taken from us. We have been working on busses for a lot of years and this is way easier and better! Thank the Lord, Barry, and the whole Nelson Group for such a blessing!".
To all of our fans and friends we want to encourage you to do business with any of the Nelson dealerships. Guys in the band have recently purchased vehicles from Nelson Auto dealerships and can personally attest that they have the best price and service. The Nelson group has dealerships of multiple brands that are located all around the Martinsville - Henry County VA area. Call them at 800-401-6234 or check them out at www.autosbynelson.com
Press Release for immediate release July 2012
David Guthrie has Returned!!!
The Churchmen want to welcome back David Guthrie. The re-addition of David to the band has bolstered the Churchmen sound to new heights and infused them with renewed enthusiasm. David is one of the most talented singers, songwriters, and guitar players in Bluegrass today and his high lead voice sets him apart. David has been previously nominated by SPBGMA as "Male Vocalist of the Year". Please see David's bio below.
The band is also blessed to have such a solid foundation. The three founding members who make up the core of the band are very talented in their own right, and have established the standard for the band's message, signature harmonies, and hard driving music. They are Freddy Rakes on banjo, Gerald Harbour on mandolin, and Keith Clark on Bass Fiddle. Christian Gillikin plays the fiddle with the band and he is well known as one of the finest musicians in the business. Jerry Haga handles the sound duties. Jerry is a veteran sound man and has been another real difference maker for the band.
The Churchmen have been blessed with a great pedigree of successes. Since their inception in 1989 they have traveled the country and abroad performing their distinctive Bluegrass sound. The band has twice garnered Dove Award nominations, Gospel Music's most prestigious award, for Bluegrass Gospel album of the Year, and Bluegrass Song of the Year. They have also received over twenty nominations in different categories from The Society of Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America (SPBGMA). They have performed on the Ryman Theater stage, International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA)show cases, and the IBMA Bluegrass Fan Fest. The Churchmen song "Get Onboard" was #1 on Bluegrass Now Magazine's Gospel Truths chart and remained on the top 20 chart for 3 ˝ years.
Please look for The Churchmen in your area and please check out a performance schedule, bios, and more information on the band's website at www.TheChurchmen.com or like us on Facebook.
The group would also like to take this time to thank Glenn Waller for all his contributions over the past 2 ˝ years. Glenn is a very talented man, great friend, and a great person to travel with.
Thank You Lord for Blessings
We just wanted to take a moment and say thank You, Lord. We want to acknowledge our Lord and Savoir Jesus Christ. He is who we get our strength and life from. Thank you, Lord for salvation, and all of your blessings on our lives. We enjoy a bluegrass tune now and again, but it is such a blessing to have been a GOSPEL band for more than 20 years. We always want to stand true to our beliefs and to THE LORD. Thanks be unto The Lord of Glory - You are worthy to be praised. If you are struggling, or if your life is great, Christ is always the best thing that can happen to you!
The Churchmen on Facebook!
The Churchmen have a Facebook page and we want you to be a part of it. It seems that Facebook has taken over the internet and most people seem to be involved. We update news, photos, comments, and various personal, and group news on our page. Please look The Churchmen up and interact with the band. Gerald Harbour is our Facebook guy and he does a great job keeping everything up to date. Log on, like us today, and say hello to Gerald or any of the other guys.
Recording in Planning Stagess
Finally after a long time we are planning a new recording. We are in negotiations with record companies and are planning on finalizing those plans soon and are ready to get started recording! We are looking forward to getting David, Carroll, Gerald, and Keith in the studio with the new material and see what we can come up with. It is an exciting time to say the least and we believe this can be the best configuration of The Churchmen ever. Stay tined for more updates coming soon.
God again blessed us with a busy year in 2012. We would like to thank our booking agent for his hard work! Keith Clark books the group, and he is currently booking for the 2013 season. We are looking forward to playing a lot of the shows that we do on an annual basis. Please contact Keith Clark at 276-340-5209 or e-mail Click Here to Email Keith for more information
We would like to mention again that although we enjoy playing festivals and other venues, that our hearts are still in ministering in churches. This has always been, and will continue to be, a priority for our group. If your church would like to have a Churchmen concert during a regular service or special event, please contact us! Thanks for your support.
SPBGMA Nomination for 2012
We are thrilled to report that The Churchmen were again nominated by the SPBGMA organization for Bluegrass Gospel Group of the Year / Traditional for 2012. We have been truly honored to be nominated for a SPBGMA award for more than 20 times! We plan to be at the 2013 show and want to see all of you there! We want to take this time to thank the fans and friends for nominating The Churchmen and ask that you again consider us in 2013. If nominated next year we want to also ask for all of the attendees at the SPBGMA convention in February to consider voting for The Churchmen! Thanks again to everyone who has voted for us in the past, and a big vote of appreciation to Chuck Stearman and his staff for the first class operation of SPBGMA and all of their events. We have been nominated for 20 years in at least one of the Gospel categories and that's very flattering and encouraging to us. Please visit the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America website at www.spbgma.com.
CD Still Getting Airplay
We are really thrilled about the airplay and attention that the new CD, "I'LL Be Long Gone", is still getting. Several cuts from the project are showing up on playlists across the country. The CD has also showed up in the top 50 on the Roots Music Report for Bluegrass! Thanks to all of the DJ's and friends who are playing the songs and requesting them! Please call or e-mail your local DJ, or XM - Sirius to request Churchmen tunes. Thanks again!
"I'll Be Long Gone" in Stores!
We are still really excited about our latest CD, "I'LL Be Long Gone" that was released to retail a couple of years ago and is still going strong. The project features 7 original tunes written by our own David Guthrie, along with Jason Barie, Rick Pardue, and Josh Manning. David penned 4 of the originals with Jason, Rick, and Josh each contributing one song each. The remaining songs are Bluegrass Gospel standards or re-makes with a new twist. We were truly thrilled to get the new band configuration recorded. David's lead vocals certainly blended well with the Churchmen sound. This project features some contemporary tunes combined with the straight ahead Bluegrass that is a Churchmen trademark .We recorded the project again with Dale Perry producing at Lakeside studios and we believe is definitely our best effort to date. The CD is available now at Churchmen shows, on this website, The Music Shed, County Sales and in your favorite retail outlets.
Here are a couple of early quotes from DJ's.
I got the new CD last week and played it Saturday and Sunday and the NUMBER ONE FAVORITE down here is "Rocked On The Deep" - that is some great stuff. The whole CD is GREAT. Keep 'em coming. - Jimmy Strange WJFC FM Jefferson, TN & WMTN AM Morristown, TN
Whoa! Real Bluegrass Gospel ... old time, new time, anytime. Soul-stirring vocals and ultimate instrumentation. No doubt, many of these powerful songs will be chart-toppers. Bluegrass gospel at its best! - David M. Bissell www.PowerGrassRadio.com Salem, WV
This is our third project with Pinecastle Records and we want to thank Col. Riggs and his staff for their continued support. Please call or e-mail your local DJ's, Sirius Radio, and XM Radio to request songs off of the new project.
Spotlight on Jerry Haga - Sound Technician
The Churchmen have had a band for 23 years. Boy that's a long time isn't it? During most of those years we ran our own sound, or depended on the sound folks at the concerts. Although that worked out ok, we are proud, and very excited to say that Jerry Haga is back full time running our sound. Jerry traveled with us from 2008 until 2010 and has returned in 2012 - and we hope he stays forever! Jerry hails from the community of Horsepasture, VA. Jerry is a member at Horsepasture Christian Church and he is very involved. Thanks to The Lord for bringing such great people our way! Jerry's addition has allowed us to go back to using individual mics and this has been a real help to The Churchmen sound. Here is a biography on Jerry.
Jerry was born on May 08, 1951 in Clintwood, VA. He is an excellent musician in his own right and plays all woodwind instruments, specializing on the Saxophone. He started playing professionally in 1970 and took on a dual roll in 1973 to become Sax player and sound technician. Jerry played full time from '73 until '77. Jerry re-dedicated his life to The Lord 20 years ago and now plays primarily in church and uses his talents with The Churchmen.
Jerry has been married to his lovely wife Glennette for more than 30 years. They are the proud parents of 2 sons - Johnathon and Andrew.
Thanks again to Jerry and welcome on board to one of the finest guys that you would ever want to meet. Jerry is well known in the community for his charitable spirit and is a real team player for the band.
Churchmen Win Honors from Powergrass Radio
Bluegrass Gospel group "The Churchmen" has been recognized by the popular web based radio dedicated to Bluegrass Gospel Music 24 hours a day. The web site named them as the 2008 Bluegrass Gospel Group of the Year and their latest release "I'll be Long Gone" as Album of the Year. The Churchmen record for Pinecastle records and their latest release is the 3rd project since joining with Pinecastle. The CD was released in mid-summer to radio with the retail release on November 4, 2008. Highlighted on the album is the song writing talents and voice of David Guthrie who joined the group January of 2007 and fiddle veteran Tim Smith joining September 2007.
The Churchmen are closing in on twenty years of performing and recording bluegrass gospel music.
What people are saying.......
"The Churchmen are a fine group of entertainers, whose talents are indeed unique, whether in performance in ensemble or solo. It is always a pleasure to work with them." The Lewis Family
"The Churchmen are a very talented group who play and sing with the kind of harmony that keeps you listening for more. I have known them since they started their group and I highly recommend them to anyone who loves good bluegrass gospel music." Russell Easter, Sr.
"We have had the pleasure of performing with the Churchmen on several occasions, and it is always enjoyable. They have a fine group and are fine people." Doyle Lawson
"The Churchmen are one of the fastest growing, hottest new sounds in Bluegrass Gospel Music today. We have worked with these guys a lot, and they really live what they sing. We highly recommend them to any- one for concerts." Jeff and Sheri Easter
The Churchmen have been recognized with several honors over the years
About the Churchmen.......
Booking and Information