Mountain Roads signs Pathway

Pathway - Jake Long, Scott Freeman, Justin Freeman, Mitchell Freeman, Mark FreemanMountain Roads Recordings of Bristol, Tennessee, continues its support of local bands by signing Pathway, a bluegrass and Gospel band originating from Mount Airy, North Carolina.

Pathway consists of three brothers, Mitchell Freeman (bass and tenor vocals), Mark Freeman (banjo, guitar, fiddle and lead vocals), and Scott Freeman (fiddle, mandolin and lead vocals); Mark’s son, Justin Freeman (guitar, lead and baritone vocals); and two good friends of the family, Jake Long (mandolin, guitar and baritone vocals) and Casey Byrd (Dobro ¬Æ, guitar, lead and baritone vocals).

According to Mitch …….

“The band was formed in August, 2007 and (jointly) writes 90% of its own material.”

Prior to that, Mitchell and Mark started playing in 1977 with Barry and Kenneth Berrier in a band called Interstate Exchange. After a couple of years, Kenneth moved on and Eric Silver, who was 16 at the time, joined the band. Silver played about a year and then moved to Nashville. Later Mitch was in the group Summer Wages.

Other notables who have played with the Freeman brothers include Alan Bibey and Sammy Shelor.

Mitch Freeman takes up the story ……

Casey Byrd“In the early 1990s Mark and I laid our instruments down and raised families. In 2007 we began playing some together. Mark’s son became interested and began to play guitar and sing. Jake Long, a long time friend of the family, began to play and switched from guitar to mandolin. And the final member Casey Bryd was meet by accident by Mitch was asked to sit in one night at practice and has been a member ever since. He writes plays unbelievable Dobro ¬Æ and sings as well.

We meet Karl and Gail (Cooler) in October 2008 and after talking several times we asked Karl if he would be interested signing us to his label. We had been in the studio working on some new material, he came down gave a listen, we talked some more and in January 2009 met with him and Gail at their home, had dinner and signed with Mountain Road Recordings.

We just finished the studio work at Eastwood Studio and our engineer, Wesley Easter, should (be) ready to mix in the next two weeks. Eleven of the song are original (and there is) one new song by Tom T and Dixie Hall and Keith Bilbrey.”

Karl Cooler, who describes Pathway as “both exciting and inspirational” adds,

“We are extremely excited to have this talented group on the Mountain Roads Recordings label and we look forward to this release scheduled for June 1st 2009.”

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics.

A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe.

He wrote the annotated series I’m On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.