Andrew Brown stepping down from The Gospel Plowboys

Founding member, Andrew Brown, of the central North Carolina-based Gospel Plowboys, is stepping down after more than a decade with the group. The Mountain Fever recording artists are best known for spreading the gospel through tight harmonies, and touching lyrics, in their distinctive bib overalls, white shirts, and red ties. 

Lead singer and guitarist, Michael Jenkins, said…

“Andrew has been a part of The Gospel Plowboys from the very beginning. I met Andrew about 11 years ago at the Doyle Lawson Bluegrass Festival in Denton. This was just before the Gospel Plowboys were formed. We spent that night with the band’s founder, David Murph, jamming at the campground. Immediately, a friendship was born. Later on, David approached Andrew and myself about forming the Gospel Plowboys and the rest is history. 

Andrew started out in the band by playing the upright bass. After the band’s mandolinist, David Murph, passed in 2017, Andrew took over that role by playing the mandolin. He’s been such a huge asset to the band through the years being a multi-instrumentalist and an awesome vocalist. Losing him is going to be a huge loss, but we know God has a plan for Andrew, and he has a plan for the Gospel Plowboys. We thank Andrew for his many years of hard work and dedication to the band and wish him the very best.”

Andrew Brown responded…

“First, I’d like to say that I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to have been able to play bass and later, mandolin for the Gospel Plowboys over the past ten years. My dad, David Brown, played bass for David Murph in a band called the Gospel Strings in the early ’90s. He always spoke highly of David and his ability to hear and play music the way he did. As a kid learning to play, I always thought it would be amazing to play music with David Murph one day and that dream did came true for me and so much more!

David always encouraged me to look outside the box, whether that meant learning a new instrument, or singing a new harmony part. But it wasn’t just about the music, he encouraged all of us to seek God and grow in our relationship with Him, and with each other as well. I miss David very much, but his music lives on in all of us that he influenced and invested in.

I’m also so beyond thankful that I’ve been able to share music with my Dad all these years now. This has been one of the hardest parts of making the decision to step away from the band for me. Needless to say, I will miss playing music with these guys very much. There are so many that I would like to be able to thank individually for all of their prayers, support, and hospitality over the years, for not only myself, but for the Plowboys as a whole. You all truly have been instrumental in keeping us going!

I will be stepping away from the band toward the end of April; however, I will not be stepping away from music entirely. I dearly love to sing and make music with my wife, Morgan Brown. She has always been with me through the ups and downs that come with traveling and playing music. I couldn’t have made it this long without her love and support. I am also very excited to be able to do more of that with her now and see what God has for us both in the future, wherever that may take us! For all those I have met and befriended while traveling, I hope to be able to see you all again someday. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Jenkins stressed…

“As for the rest of the Plowboys, we ain’t done yet! We don’t believe God is finished with the Gospel Plowboys. We plan to move forward in the upcoming weeks. We will be looking for someone to step in and fill Andrew’s spot on mandolin. At this point, we’re not sure who that individual will be, but whoever God chooses to send our way will definitely have some big shoes to fill.”

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About the Author

Sandy Hatley

Sandy Chrisco Hatley is a free lance writer for several NC newspapers and Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. As a teenager, she picked banjo with an all girl band called the Happy Hollow String Band. Today, she plays dobro with her husband's band, the Hatley Family.