The bluegrass world has been buzzing for months since word went out that Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers were working on an all-Gospel project for Billy Blue Records. Their two previous Gospel albums have been highly praised by fans and critics alike, earning multiple awards from the IBMA.
A first taste of this new record, Somewhere Beyond the Blue, is available today in the form of a lyric video premiere. It finds Joe and the boys in old time Gospel quartet form, which starts with just a guitar and mandolin for accompaniment.
The song is Hear Jerusalem Calling, which fans of The Sullivans may recall from their Tomorrow album in 2007. Jerry Sullivan wrote it with Marty Stuart, and Mullins says that he still gets chill thinking about their music.
“I have fond memories of the first time I saw Marty Stuart present the late Jerry and Tammy Sullivan on the old Nashville Network cable television channel. I was knocked out! Their power and passion shined through every word. I’ve played the music of Jerry and Tammy on radio programs for nearly 30 years and I love their songs, most of which are no longer available since their passing.”
The quartet arrangement here represents a debut with the newest member of the Ramblers, Jeff Parker, late of Dailey & Vincent and Jeff Parker & Colin Ray, who came aboard late last year. Others singing on the track include Mullins on tenor vocal, along with Adam McIntosh and Randy Barnes harmonizing with he and Jeff.
The single of Hear Jerusalem Calling is available now to radio programmers via AirPlay Direct.
Joe and the Ramblers will be performing this number, and many others, this weekend in their special live online concert. It is being presented at no charge by the Southern Door Community Auditorium at 7:00 p.m. (EST) on Sunday, March 7. Everyone is invited to watch the livestream on Facebook, YouTube, or the SDCA website.