Come Home, from Bent Mountain, is an interesting new project with an unusual backstory. It’s not centered on a particular artist, or band, but instead inspired by a love of bluegrass music by Quigg Lawrence, pastor at the Church of The Holy Spirit in Roanoke, VA, and a Bishop in the Anglican Church in North America. I have had the good fortune of knowing him since we met by pure chance at a Kinkos many years ago, and can attest to his passion for his faith, and his beloved bluegrass.
The idea for an album was born from the talents of several of his parishioners, and his adult daughter, Annie, with a professional career of her own in Nashville. Quigg also has a pair of very talented young people in his congregation, Ayden and Blane Young, of whom we have written previously at Bluegrass Today. After arranging for the Brothers Young to record a couple of tracks with Junior Sisk and his band at Mountain Fever Studios, Lawrence conceived of the idea of putting a full album together using a mix of local talent and Nashville grassers, and chose the name Bent Mountain based on the topographical feature on whose foothills his parish church is located.
Before long, sessions were scheduled and tracks laid down, with the result being the CD, Come Home, to be released quite soon for purchase and download. Quigg is featured on the album, along with Annie, the Youngs, Eric Imhoff, and Julie Wright. To their skills were added those of Sierra Hull, Justin Moses, Chris Eldridge, Junior Sisk, Scott Mulvahill, Russ Carson, Ryan Ogrodny, Doug Bartlett, Jonathan Dillon, Heather Mable, Simon Maartensson, and Johnny Rees. Not too shabby!
A first single is available now, Come To Jesus, written and originally recorded by Mindy Smith in 2004. Like Annie Lawrence, who sings this version, Mindy was a preacher’s kid, who endured the loss of her mom from cancer when she Mindy was 18 years old. She had said that the lyrics were based on advice her mom gave her as the cancer was taking her from them… Come To Jesus.
Annie has survived a bout with cancer herself, and Quigg tells us that he thinks those coincidences conspire to create a really strong track.
“It’s pretty cool to have a cancer survivor and another preacher’s kid cover a song that is so good, but unknown to the under 25 crowd. Pretty cool to do it with bluegrass instruments and players too!”
Supporting Annie here are Chris Eldridge on guitar, Justin Moses on mandolin and reso-guitar, Ryan Ogrodny on fiddle, Scott Mulvahill on bass, and Simon Maartenson providing background guitar fills.
Come To Jesus by Annie Lawrence and Bent Mountain is available now for streaming at the popular sites and apps, and for download purchase at iTunes.