"TwoGrass" duo Eddie & Martha joins with longtime friends
Tom Gray, Gene Johnson and Missy Raines to offer a peek here into some
of the songs that resurrected bluegrass music in the mid-20th century.
In the 1950s Eddie had been starving out as one of Bill Monroe's Blue
Grass Boys after Elvis hit big; Eddie's former employer, Mac Wiseman,
had abandoned touring for the administrative side of the business. Bluegrass
music was on life support until Eddie was persuaded to join the fledgling
Country Gentlemen. With their stratospheric musicianship, synergy and
brash attitude, they reinvented and reinvigorated Bluegrass.
Eddie (considered by many the true father of newgrass music) and Tom Gray
were both members of the Gentlemen during the group's watershed creative
early recording days in the 1960s. They took their exhilarating brand
of bluegrass far afield into urban areas and colleges, and onto the turntables
of doctors and lawyers, leaving the overalls and hay bales behind.
The 1970s saw Eddie, Martha, and Gene in Second Generation, a band founded
by Eddie in the vanguard of progressive bluegrass; Tom was an original
member of the much-loved Seldom Scene. Both bands took their place in
the roster of influential bluegrass groups. Missy, a wide-eyed child idolizing
the Country Gentlemen and their offshoots, eventually spent 8 years with
the Eddie Adcock Band and has since received a multitude of awards of
her own, while Gene migrated into country music and has spent two hit-filled
decades in Diamond Rio.
It is well to note here that guest Pete Kuykendall was an early banjo
player in, and song-finder for, the Gents, while Wes Easter has long had
great appreciation and deep knowledge of the Country Gentlemen. They are
to be thanked for their contributions on Many A Mile.