The Altar Fellowship is an evangelical Christian church in Johnson City, TN with a very active music ministry. In fact, their worship band has proved so popular that people engage them for private functions outside of the church. And now, under the direction of Zac Hagerty, The Altar Music has recorded an album of original praise music incorporating the sort of Appalachian influence you would expect in east Tennessee.
Entitled Welcome Home, the record isn’t due until April 9, but a single for the title track is available now. Hagerty went all out on this effort, bringing in an experienced producer and engineer to Johnson City to record, and after work was concluded, they liked the church and the area so well they moved from Portland, OR to make their home.
Zac also enlisted a number of noted bluegrass artists to assist in the tracking. First up was multi-instrumentalist Brandon Green, a West Virginia native living now in east Tennessee. Known primarily as a banjo man, Green served on the faculty in the ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time & Country Music Studies program for several years, and now teaches primarily on Patreon. Brandon is also a National Banjo Champion, winning the competition in Winfield, KS in 2014, and he toured all over the world on banjo with The Abrams Brothers before coming to ETSU.
Brandon brought in Jacob Metz, banjo and reso-guitar player with Darin & Brooke Aldridge, who in turn suggested Tammy Rogers of The Steeldrivers on fiddle. With this expert bluegrass crew helping out, The Altar Music set about cutting the tracks for Welcome Home in the church.
A music video was also produced during a live concert of the full album, so you can see and hear the title track with all the enthusiasm and spirit with which it was recorded.