Jay Adams to The Churchmen

The Churchmen have announced the addition of Jay Adams to the group. He will play guitar and share in the vocals with the North Carolina-based bluegrass Gospel group that have been recording and touring together since 1989.

Since 2006, Jay has been the banjo player with Rich In Tradition, a gig he has surrendered to play with The Churchmen. Adams lives in Eden, NC and has just recently retired from his day job. What better way to celebrate than playing bluegrass?

Jay is a life long grasser, who got his start playing banjo. Though he has had a guitar most of his life, this will actually be his first full-time gig as a guitarist.

He tells us that when his friend, Keith Clark, who plays bass with The Churchmen, asked him about the opening, he wasn’t sure he could pull it off.

“I told Keith when I spoke to him initially that I could probably fill in until they found someone. I didn’t know if I could do guitar full time. I was currently only playing a few tunes on the guitar with Rich In Tradition and that was mostly Scruggs style. Keith insisted that I get the material to work on it and audition. So after a couple of months, here we are.”

Jay joins Gerald Narbour on mandolin, Carol Arnn on  banjo, and Daniel Greeson on fiddle, along with Keith on bass. He says that this should be a very easy transition for him.

“I’ve known Keith and Gerald almost since the beginning of the Churchmen so we have been friends for many years. Carroll is a great guy and we have become good friends through my doing some work on his banjo. I’ve known Daniel most of his life and watched him grow into a super young fiddler. Also, Daniel and I have worked together with Rich In Tradition for the past five years or so. None of us are strangers, as far as that goes, so that more than anything has helped with the transition. I couldn’t expect anyone to be as supportive as these guys have been. I’ve always thought of myself as a band guy and support element both vocally and instrumentally. That’s where my comfort zone is.

The Gospel has always been a major part of my music. Combined with that and the geographic aspect, we all live within an hour of each other, it just seems like God put it together. We’ll just wait and see what He has in store.”

In a joint statement, the band enthusiastically welcomed Adams to the group.

“Jay has been a great friend of ours for as long as we’ve had a band. Jay has been known locally for his banjo skills and being a part of area workshops as an instructor. Jay is a leader in his local church and a brother in Christ. We look forward to working with Jay beginning with our February 2nd concert in Middlebury, Indiana.”

You can follow The Churchmen’s schedule online.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.