The Adcocks and Gray walk Many A Mile

After an eight year gap since their last release Eddie and Martha Adcock, TwoGrass, have a new album on the market.

As the credits show on the CD the Adcocks are assisted on this self-produced Patuxent Music release, Many a Mile, by their long-time touring bassist Tom Gray.

There were other old friends who also helped, as Martha Adcock explains…

“We called in Missy Raines to play bass; after she had recorded her tracks, Tom Gray, recently departed from the Legends of the Potomac band, offered to be part of a trio with us once again for concerts as he had done off and on for several years previously…so, all of us thinking it would be nice to have a record together too, we invited him to put bass tracks on whatever he felt he’d like to do; now he and Missy share about half each. And we invited Gene Johnson, old friend and former II Generation band-mate (and vital member of popular country group Diamond Rio for two decades) to lend his tenor and lead vocals and mandolin playing to the project. Pete Kuykendall, in town for a day, provided some baritone on one song; and the project’s mixing and mastering engineer, Wes Easter —a ‘Classic’ Country Gentlemen fan if ever there was one—played twin banjo with Eddie on one song. Believe me, the process was all huge fun and the results so satisfying for us.”

The album, which was rush-released for the IBMA World of Bluegrass convention, was recorded at the Adcocks’ home studio, Sunfall Studio, in Lebanon, Tennessee, is made up of Country Gentlemen songs…

“…material that Eddie and I stayed away from doing as long as Charlie Waller was alive as the last link to the band’s classic days.

Tracks for the album were begun last year, when Eddie was becoming dissatisfied with the waning results of the original 2008 surgery. Little did he know that the chest battery had malfunctioned and was shorting out, and that also the lead wire into the skull had broken, possibly from several bangs of his head on the car door. After surgery #2 this past January, and #3 in July, the recording was finished this spring and summer.”

The album has a mixture of the well-known – New Freedom Bell, Two Little Boys, Matterhorn and Bringing Mary Home – and the obscure – Nightwalk  is an instrumental that Eddie Adcock wrote many years ago and is on their landmark Mercury Folk Session Inside LP, the audience favourite Helen is a tune the Country Gentlemen recorded back in their days with Starday Records and Many A Mile, recorded on the 1968 Rebel LP The Traveler, shows the Country Gentlemen dipping into the modern folk repertoire with this song written by Patrick Sky.

The full track listing is as follows; Many a Mile, Down Where the Still Waters Flow, New Freedom Bell, He Was a Friend of Mine, Two Little Boys, Amelia Earhart’s Last Flight, Mary Dear, Nightwalk, I Am Weary, Let Me Rest, Matterhorn, Darling Little Joe, Helen, Bringing Mary Home and This Morning at Nine.

So, what of Eddie’s health now? Martha volunteered  ….

“Eddie is doing very well these days after his third brain surgery (two in this year alone). He prefers not to play at blinding speeds for now, concentrating on the fullness of the music instead. (When we’re young, we play fast just because we can!)  He’s really very grateful for the opportunity to keep on pickin’. Actually, since he’s been breaking new ground medically, as he has always done musically, he’s led his neurosurgeons along with him on his quest to be able to play, educating them to his needs and to the surgeries’ effects, while being a willing guinea pig.”

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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.