The Churchmen have announced that Freddy Rakes, their long time banjo picker, is moving on. After 23 years with the group, Rakes wants to slow down a bit and do shows with his kinfolk in The Rakes Family, a bluegrass Gospel band in Bassett, VA.
In fact, describing him as “banjo picker” is selling Freddy a bit short. He was also called upon to maintain busses and provide bookkeeping services during his lengthy stint with Keith Clark and Gerald Harbour as The Churchmen.
Stepping in to these impressive shoes is multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Carroll Arnn, who contributes banjo, fiddle and guitar to the band, along with lead and harmony vocals. Arnn had been working of late with The Church Sisters, fellow Danville, VA residents, and a number of his songs have been recorded on previous Churchmen albums.
A new song of Carroll’s, Bread and Water, is set to be recorded and released as a single by The Churchmen early in 2013.