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Churchmen Win Honors from Powergrass RadioBluegrass 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. New CD Getting Airplay We are really thrilled about the airplay and attention that the new CD, "I'LL Be Long Gone", is getting. Several cuts from the project are showing up on playlists across the country. The CD has been in the top 50 on the Roots Music Report for Bluegrass! Also "Final Harvest" has already made it to #6 in the Gospel Truths chart on the Bluegrass Now website. 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, XM, and Sirius to request Churchmen tunes. Thanks again!
"I'll Be Long Gone" in Stores!We stated already we are really excited about our new CD, "I'LL Be Long Gone" that was released to retail on November 4th and seems to be doing really great. 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 are truly thrilled to get the new band configuration recorded. David's lead vocals and Tim's fiddle playing 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.
SPBGMA Nomination for 2009We are thrilled to report that The Churchmen have again been nominated by the SPBGMA organization for Bluegrass Gospel Group of the Year / Traditional for 2009. We are truly honored to be nominated for this award. We want to take this time to thank the fans and friends for nominating The Churchmen. 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 16 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.
Congratulations to David and Angela Again!Congratulations are in order to David and Angela on the news that they are expecting another child in May of '09. They are so excited and we certainly are exited for them. David and Angela have a son, David Andrew Guthrie, Jr. "Andy" who is going on 2 years old, and 2 beautiful daughters Briana and Alayna. The Guthrie Family lives in Parkton N.C.
Spotlight on Jerry Haga - Sound TechnicianThe Churchmen have had a band for almost 20 years. Boy that's a long time isn't it? During those years we have ran our own sound or depended on the sound-men and sound-women at the concerts. Although that has worked out ok we are proud, and very excited to say that finally in 2008 those days are over! We have been greatly blessed with the addition of sound technician Jerry Haga. Jerry hails from the community of Horsepasture, VA. Jerry is a fellow member with band mate Gerald Harbour at Horsepasture Christian Church. He has been a great friend to the band for several years and the time was right for Jerry to join the band. 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 17 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 29 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.
New Band Configuration Still Going Strong
We want to thank The Lord for continuing to bless The Churchmen! Tim Smith joined the band in August of 2007 and has certainly been an amazing addition. The longer he is a member of the group the more he continues to amaze us all. David Guthrie is also starting his third year in the band after joining in January of 2007. David's lead vocal has gained attention for the band across the country. David is a rare talent and is another example of God's hand working for our band. We thank Him for sending these talented young men to be part of our ministry. We have been so fortunate over the years to have talented guys to join Freddy, Keith, and Gerald in the band. This configuration is special and we feel that it is the best ever by far! Here is some more information on Tim and David.
Tim Smith lived in Essex, MD until age 13. During those years he learned to love and play the fiddle from his Grandfather, Kilby Reeves, and two uncles, Tom and Bert Reeves. Tim played classical music and was a first chair violinist during his school years. In the late '60's Tim moved with his family back to his Mother and Father's hometown of Sparta, NC. Tim soon began performing at local functions and became a well known fiddler in the local community.
In 1977 Tim won 1st place fiddle prize at the well known "Galax Fiddlers Convention" in Galax, VA, and in 1978 he won the world championship fiddle prize at the famed "Union Grove Fiddlers Convention" at Union Grove, NC. Tim then worked with the legendary Bluegrass Cardinals and performed as a Bluegrass Boy with Bill Monroe and The Bluegrass Boys. Tim has performed or recorded with a virtual "who's who" of bluegrass music including Lester Flatt and The Nashville Grass, Jim and Jesse and The Virginia Boys, Jim Eanes, Roy Acuff, Mac Wiseman, Charlie Waller and The Country Gentlemen, The Johnson Mountain Boys, Del McCoury, Vassar Clements, Chubby Wise, Jerry Douglas, Bill Emerson, Bobby Hicks, Kenny Baker, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, The Shenandoah Cut-ups, Tony Rice, The Blue River Boys, John Starling, The Lost and Found, Craig Smith, George and John Shuffler, Blue Ridge, Lou Reid, Larry Stephenson, Ronnie Simpkins, Ricky Simpkins, Terry Baucum, Wayne Benson, Clay Jones, Wes Golding, Hershel Sizemore and numerous others.
Tim married his beautiful wife, Anita in 1982. They have two wonderful children, Melissa 22 and Andrew 15, and reside in Kernersville, NC. He was employed by a major airline for 23 years and recently accepted early retirement. He has his own record label, "TRS Records, Inc.", and a publishing company "Big Baby Boy Music-BMI". He has recorded and released his most recent CD's "Plain and Simple" and "The Lonesome Blueridge" on his label. Tim devotes his time to playing and teaching music, church, and his family. Tim is very passionate about all of this and says "I thank God for giving me the opportunity to do something I enjoy. I am a family man, I love spending time with my family and the love and support I receive from them is simply wonderful"
David Guthrie sings lead and harmony vocals along with handling the guitar duties for the band. David has quickly become a fan favorite. His high lead and great tenor voice, along with his hard driving rock solid guitar is a great addition to The Churchmen sound. David has the rare ability to sing with great feeling along with having amazing vocal range. David has been nominated as "Male Vocalist of the Year / Traditional" by the SPBGMA organization.
David amazingly has been playing music only about six years. Three of these spent with Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road. His musical influences are The Louvin Brothers. (mainly Ira Louvin), and Bill Monroe. He lives in Parkton N.C. with his lovely wife Angela, daughters Briana and Alayna, and son David Andrew Guthrie, Jr. "Andy" arrived on May 22, 2007 and is growing fast! David and Angela are expecting another child in May of 2009. David says "I feel led to this band at this exact point in my life. How the Lord has opened up doors, I know it isn't without a real purpose. I am really excited to become a Churchmen member".
We again want to thank God for his blessings on the band. Keith, Freddy, and Gerald have been together since the group began, and it is truly a blessing to travel with such great people. We believe that we get along better and are closer than any other group on the road and that is great to be able to say. We have been really fortunate to have had only a few band member changes in our almost 20 year history. God is certainly great and worthy of our praise!
Please read more about the band in the bio section.
Pinecastle Marketing and Tour SupportWe have been in touch with the Marketing department at Pinecastle Records quite a bit lately and we are really pleased with some of the recent new touches. New marketing director Ethan Burkhart is doing a great job and we are enjoying working with him. Sara Bailey is handling the tour support duties now and Matt Hood is Radio Promotions director. Col. Riggs has assembled a great team and they are really working hard to support the Tours of all of the Pinecastle artists. We will be working on a promotional CD and they are sending out new posters to advertise events that we are involved in. They are also setting up a lot of nice promotional avenues for us to get the word out about The Churchmen, and about our personal appearances. Please contact them at www.pinecastle.com. or 1-828-894-0322. Great job folks!
Freddy and Glen Keep Coach Running WellWell it's been almost seven years since we got our new coach and we want to thank God for the worry free travel that we have had with it! The bus has a great history as it was custom built for The Statler Brothers and it served them the last few years of their stellar career. This is the third bus that The Churchmen have owned and it's the first Eagle. We have always heard about that famous Eagle ride but now we have experienced it for ourselves, and it's true an Eagle does make it easier to sleep. It was a good time to upgrade our travel means since the years since we purchased it have been the busiest ever. As you know if you have been keeping up with the website for a while, that we have certainly covered a lot of ground. We have been able to see a lot of the country including Niagara Falls, the upper Mississippi River basin in Wisconsin and Minnesota, the Florida Everglades, the beautiful forests of Alabama and about everything in between, and we couldn't have made it without good transportation. We would also like to thank Easter's Coach Sales in Bassett, VA for helping us get our new bus. We have purchased all three coaches from Bobby and Karen and Junior Roberts and thank them for their help. Thanks also to Freddy and Glen Clark (Keith's dad) for all of the great maintenance work that they do. They do a great job in keeping the coach maintained and on the road. Recently they installed a new radiator to keep the engine cool and running great! Thanks again guys and great work!
Thanks to EveryoneThanks to all of the folks who have had The Churchmen come your way. Thanks to all of the promoters, churches and friends who support the group with your finances, friendship, and prayers. Thanks again and we hope we can be in your area again soon.
Keith Clark and The Churchmen
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