Carley Arrowood and Daniel Thrailkill engaged

Paraphrasing a Bill Monroe tune, “We’ll make our vows to love each other, and we know we always will.”

Another happy union to report: bluegrass sweethearts, Carley Arrowood and Daniel Thrailkill, have announced their engagement.

After five years of friendship that included three years of courtship, Thrailkill, lead singer and guitarist with The Trailblazers, 2018 IBMA Momentum Band of the Year, dropped to one knee and popped the question to fiddler extraordinaire, Arrowood, on Friday afternoon, February 12.

“We’ve been really blessed to find a future home, and we’ve found a little time here and there between my school and both of our teaching schedules to work on updating it some together. We had been painting one of the bedrooms that morning, and we went out for a late lunch. We got back to the house, and Carley had almost started painting with her nice sweater and boots on, so I suggested she go change into her painting clothes. As she did that, I rushed into the other room, rustling through my backpack to find the ring. I went back in to the room we were painting and waited for her to come back, so I could surprise her on one knee! She was so surprised it took her a minute to say, ‘Yes!’ Needless to say, my plan worked well. I’m pretty pleased with the outcome,” shared Daniel, the 2018 IBMA Momentum Vocalist of the Year.

Arrowood, 2017 IBMA Momentum Instrumentalist of the Year, elaborated, “He’s been telling me and joking with me for months that the proposal was gonna get me good, and he wasn’t lying. I came back in that room with my blinders on, thinking, ‘We’re doing good. We have one wall left and it’s not that late.’ And when I walked in and saw him on one knee, I felt like I was suddenly in one of those really vivid dreams that feels real, but it’s really not! I finally said yes and he stood up, and I kept laughing between tears and asking, ‘Are you serious?!’ And Daniel said, ‘Well yeah! I’ve got the ring right here!'”

Their paths first crossed at a North Carolina music event.

Thrailkill recalled, “I remember meeting Carley at the 2014 Union Grove Fiddlers’ Convention on a rainy day in April. She doesn’t remember it as clearly as I do, but she was playing in a band with my now band mate, Alex Edwards. It was one of my first convention experiences. Seems so long ago!”

“I remember that day!” Arrowood stressed. “He introduced himself and we talked for a few minutes, but that was about it. After that, we’d see each other at random festivals, and even one time at the homeschool conference in Winston-Salem. We really started becoming better friends at IBMA 2016.”

Arrowood, who fiddled with Darin and Brooke Aldridge for five years, has a first solo project with Mountain Home Music Company coming soon. Thrailkill, appears on her recordings. Since they began dating, the couple has collaborated on numerous other musical projects, including her Goin’ Home Comin’ On Mountain Home music video, and their YouTube series, Pickin’ in the Kitchen.

Arrowood concluded, “We had so much fun telling our close family and friends, and we still haven’t decided on a date yet. I’ve been told that this time always goes by fast, so we really just want to bask in it and enjoy it. We’ve done some wedding planning though, and I’m so looking forward to the rest of it, and the future with Daniel! We’re so amazed at God’s goodness and grace in our lives. I can’t believe it.”

Monroe’s lyrics reflect Thrailkill’s sentiments toward Arrowood, his fiddling sweetheart. “For me there’ll never be another. I’ll love her ’til the day I die.”

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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.