The bluegrass world is just coming to terms with the loss of Steve Gulley earlier this year to an aggressive intestinal cancer. He passed on August 18, not even a month after receiving his diagnosis, many years too soon.
Recently a number of his close friends in the bluegrass business got together to record a song in his honor, with all proceeds going to Steve’s wife, Debbie, and their family. The project includes quite a number of prominent artists.
Calling themselves Sacred Reunion, this group of Steve’s friends includes Barry Abernathy, Jim VanCleve, and Jason Moore, all of whom were Gulley’s bandmates in Mountain Heart; his long time songwriting partner, Tim Stafford; former employer Doyle Lawson; and Grasstowne partner, Phil Leadbetter. Also contributing vocals was Vince Gill, who while not closely associated with Steve, was a great admirer of his singing and songwriting.
They chose a new song written especially in memory to Gulley, written by another close friend, Mark Wheeler, called In The Resurrection Morning.
Abernathy, who plays banjo and sings, said that all involved were united in the faith they shared with Steve.
“We were all focused on the theme of hope in Christ. Steve was a man of faith, and we join him in the belief that we will all see each other again one day in a far better place, where Jesus will be the light, and be our God forever. What a great reunion morning that will be. Mark’s beautiful song captures this hope like a precious prayer.”
Everyone assembled at Sound Biscuit Studio in Sevierville, TN to record the track. With Barry on banjo, Tim played guitar, Jim fiddle, Doyle mandolin, Jason bass, and Phil the reso-guitar. Singers shared verses starting with Wheeler and Abernathy. Vince Gill’s vocals were later added from Nashville.
It’s a lovely 3/4 time Gospel song of faith, redemption, and the longing to be reunited with loved ones.
In The Resurrection Morning is being distributed by Billy Blue Records, and is available now wherever you stream or download music online. Radio programmers can find the track at AirPlay Direct.